Disneyland Pictures

We had a wonderful time in Disneyland last weekend.   The parks are very manageable (compared to the size of Disney World).   So, it was nice to be able to do everything we wanted to do in just two days (including riding a lot of rides twice: space mountain, big thunder mountain, the matterhorn, haunted mansion, and buzz lightyear).

http://picasaweb.google.com/mike.helmick/Disneyland#

The lines were ok.  Saturday early evening was a little crazy, but other than that it was ok.   We saw the Fireworks both nights (9:25, but the park was open until midnight).   And then Sunday morning, the park wasn’t supposed to open until 10am, but it was open early…  So we went in and knocked out a few rides early.

Also, on Saturday, we had 6 free Fastpasses (Disney’s system that lets you head to the front of the line).   This helped a lot!   We were able to avoid a lot of line waiting.

Fun time! great weather.   All pictures are here -> http://picasaweb.google.com/mike.helmick/Disneyland#

Birthday Weekend!

Not my brithday… Cortny’s birthday is coming up (Sunday)!  Happy Birthday!

We’ve got a very exciting and fun filled birthday weekend planned…. Disneyland!   We’ll be spending 2 short days in California with Mickey and the gang.

That’s all for now – I’m sure we’ll have more to say after we actually go.

Getting Ready for Mexico

Our Baptiste teacher training bootcamp is approaching pretty quickly (less than 2 months now).   We have been putting in the physical preparation (4 to 5 practices a week).   I start every week wanting to go 6 times, but that is a huge time commitment, and just is not always a possibility.

16 changes of Yoga clothes

Shortly after signing up for the bootcamp, I went through a rough spot in my Yoga practice.  This was, as one might imagine, mostly related to rough spots in my other obligations.  Work has been (and continues to be) extremely stressful and mentally draining.   I let this carry over way too much, into my non-work life and into my Yoga.  This resulted in lots of mental distractions, physical missteps, and a generally bad quality of life.  Kind of depressing, I know.

So, I’m happier now than I was two weeks ago.  I’m more focused than I was two weeks ago.   Quantifying how this happened is a little difficult.   Of course, Cortny has been a big help, because she is probably the most supportative wife out there.  Thanks 🙂  Getting back to the Yoga, she even supports my crazy Yoga schedule.   She joins me most of the time, but she does like to skip Saturday at 8am… I don’t really blame her.   This support extends all he way to Mexico, as Cortny is also going to the teacher training (even though she doesn’t want to teach Yoga right now).

Over the last two weeks or so, I’ve been trying to change things.   I can’t get rid of the stressful work environment (unless you need an assistant professor of computer science).   What can I do?  Let it go.   Don’t react.   Those are the tools that I have at my disposal.   This is one reason I find Yogic philosophy so appealing, helpful tools for everyday life.   I’m not leaving things up to someone else, I am in control.   I don’t have to wait, I can make changes now.   This is just a sampling of what we’re learning and what we will be learning.    What really helps me, is that the asana practice (the physical part, what most people say then they mean Yoga) really ties it all together.

When we first started Yoga (intro series a year and a half ago), one of our teachers said that your Yoga mat is like a mirror.   The mat is like a mirror in that how you are on your mat reflects how you are in the real world.   Do you quickly react to adverse conditions, can you work through a difficult spot, can you keep your mind clear and focused?  These are tough issues.   What happens each time I come to the mat changes.  Sometimes I can hold a tough pose for a long period of time and not notice, sometimes 3 or 4 seconds in and we can’t move on fast enough.   The point is, I’m trying to make changes to get towards the non-reactive side, both in my Yoga and in my life.

It has been a long journey, and at times I feel like I’m still at the beginning. But here we are.

I can say that I’m ready to go to teacher training now.   Not only because I have enough clothes for 16 practices (I get very sweaty…), but because I am mentally ready.   I know that I am ready to let the experience happen and now to have expectations about what will happen, not because I can do every yoga pose with perfect alignment.

In 3 weeks, I start the teacher assisting program at our studio here.  24 hours of training over 2 weekends.   I’m very excited about this for 2 reasons: it will give me 2 weekends to just let go and be present in the Yoga studio, and it should be a great preview to our week long teacher training experience.

Wow – longer entry than I intended, and it went a totally different direction.  But I think I’m happy with the way it turned out!  I’m sure that some people have wondered why I’m always going to Yoga, maybe this sheds some light on that.

Toy Story in 3D

We are grownups!   Cortny and I went to the Toy Story and Toy Story 2 double feature today, in 3D.

Yes, we’ve seen these movies a bunch of times, but it was really cool to seem them in the theatre again.  And 3D has gotten a lot better.  And, now we’re both even more excited to go to Disneyland in a few weeks.  There is even a Toy Story ride at California Adventure.   I am also excited to go to California for the first time.

Other than that – life is just busy.   Work has been going full blast for over 6 months straight.  At least I have some down time in sight (Disneyland and Yoga teacher training).  Not that teacher training will be downtime, but I will have zero time to think about anything but Yoga for 8 days.   That in itself should be well worth it and a cleansing experience.

I’ve also been doing lots of work on Cascade (www.cascadelms.org).   I’m trying to think about how to handle the next major area of expansion – making the whole system more social.   I think it is important to remember that I’m not trying to build the next facebook, but that getting students to interact with each other more is a good thing.