Categorie archief: Confessions of a Yoga Teacher

Confessions of a Yoga Teacher – “I’m exuberant”

b0aadf4040f8e56b034da58dea726e96--city-fashion-street-fashionby LS Harteveld

This is not how I pictured it.
I have no books for you.
It’s the eighth of the eighth and contrary to what I promised there are NO BOOKS.
Which in itself doesn’t really surprise me because for the past eight years (if I use the number eight one more time shoot me) I ve failed meeting every self-imposed deadline to publish any of the eight (oh shoot!) books of my debut series The Wait Worth 8 (that was a number, doesn’t count)
But!
And this is the good news.
Good? GREAT!
This time? For the first time in eight (I don’t care what you do to me!) years I DID PUBLISH!
Right now, as we talk, test copies of my debut series the Wait Worth 8, are being published. Most likely in France. I wanted to say “the South of France” but that’s an embellishment. I don’t remember where, in France.
But YES! The eight are on their way.
And I ve even added a little guide,
 De Witte Tijgerin, Gids voor solitaire vrouwen die een geweldig seksleven willen en plenty energy.
So the debut eight plus a mini book, are FIRMLY on their way.
And NO WAY did I foresee that!
lol
I thought there was still a chance I d fail. But it’s done. The Wait Worth 8 are a done deal.
If you’re interested in juicy background stories and a discount on your order please sign up for my private list okay?
When I know more, you know more, promise.
Last Thursday, happy to have gotten the job done, I posted to several media that I was “exuberant” the copies were ordered. This was no lie. I was ECSTATIC that all books were copy-edited a hundred times (some only four times, but I decided that would just have to do), that their slick lay-out was checked thoroughly, page-by-page, and that they were all pdf-ed, uploaded, ISBNed, and click-to-buy-ed.
The only think left is that I have to switch one button, from private book to public.
Which I will do as soon as I ve seen the copies.
But the funniest thing was:
It wasn’t until after I posted my “I am EXUBERANT” post to Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, that I realized exuberant is not a word. Or it’s a word, but it can’t be used like that.
But there’s a reason I m using it wrongly.
Because using exuberant, in the non-existing meaning of “extremely happy”, has been in my vocabulary since I was sixteen.
I was on summer camp, in England, to learn the language.
Now I give zero points, for the effect the course itself had on my English, but I did get to know a friend (who abandoned me ten years later, I think because I started asking too intrusive questions about his sexual orientation) who was incredibly funny. I laughed my abs to pulp on a daily basis.
One of the many things he had fun with was the word exuberant.
He really tasted it in his mouth, and checked with his host family if it was really, absolutely, unforgivably, incorrect to say; “I m exuberant”. Because to him it sounded so spot on. And when they said it couldn’t be used that way, he of course weaved it into his conversation any chance he had.
So when that day came, eight years after the first book Mango had been finished, that I finished it for real? Together with its seven sequels?  There was really only one way to express my overwhelming feelings of joy.
“I m exuberant.”

<3LSH
An unexamined life is not worth living

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Confessions of a Yoga Teacher – Done

Carrie_Bradshaw_Prestonby LS Harteveld

Every time I am amazed at how simple life is. And at the same time, how easy it is to make it incredibly complicated. That we identify a trail running through open fire and deadly marshes, as our correct course in life, because it answers to our idea that life is hard, that some things are worth fighting for and that good things do not come easy.
We believe in improving our situation, ourselves, relationships and the list goes on and on – much more than in everything we know, deep down in our hearts, to be true; That only the fool wrestles through the thorns. Especially if the bushes are right next to the road, and the path itself is completely clear.

Ever since I started my training as a yoga teacher I was asked about my daily practice. Ironically, I had one at the time. And I remember the application being a somewhat strange experience, because I could tell they were used to students who still needed to establish that.
Hardly anyone arrived at the gates of this four year teacher training, already having a solid daily practice of an hour or more.
Except me.

Yet once I started teaching, the exact opposite happened. I entered the army of professionals to whom having a home practice was supposedly a prerequisite to being a good teacher, and yet my enthusiasm for it was nowhere to be found. My home yoga was gone. And for years I’ve been trying to get it back because I believed in the story that unless you have a home practice, you are not a good teacher. I believed in the thorns.

But yesterday all the pieces came together. I solved the yoga practice problem and within 24 hours I had basically solved every other problem in my life as well. Once I saw that I was wrestling the bushes next to the road, in one area, it was much easier to see the pattern. And to get my scratched ass on the road of least resistance instead.

I had identified my home practice, or lack thereof, as a problem because I had received strong signs a daily yoga practice had created a major improvement of my menstrual cycle. No more spotting, which is loss of blood before the menstruation or in between periods. A couple of weeks of daily yoga, mainly creating videos, had cleared up the whole menstruation problem in one sweep. But I found that out, after I had stopped doing it.

One of reasons I had cancelled the videos was because they had not felt like a proper home yoga practice. They were okay “content wise”, and I posted them on my social media. But they didn’t satisfy my ego, I didn’t feel like I had achieved a proper practice.
And I had never expected them to be this effective.
That those thirty minute yoga sessions, including five minutes of Madonna storytelling, would actually have the power to do something for me physically.

Even now, when it had cured me and there was absolutely no need, or supporting evidence, for a “real” home yoga practice, I secretly still believed in the path with the biggest thorns. That a personal practice was supposed to be hard.

I reinstalled my daily YouTube and looked around at other affairs in my life. Where was I demanding myself to be perfect, because that was the only way it counted? And where was I then paralyzed instead, and beating myself up about that?
Where did I function incredibly well on hacks, shortcuts, and things that just came out of me naturally? Only to then dismiss them?
Often.
A lot.
Oh yes, and there too.

When the truth is, you only have this much willpower. You only have this many hours in the day. And before you decide that something has to be enormous and impressive and hard, for it to count, sweating your ass off to get it perfect, just think about all the other stuff that you could have used that energy for.
There is the 80-20 rule; You can achieve eighty percent of the result, using twenty percent of the resources. After that you have a choice;
To make it perfect, throwing the other eighty percent of your resources at it.
Or move on to the next project, using the next 20%
You could end up with five projects, all good to go, but with some room for improvement. Most likely something only you would see.
Or have one project, one area of your life, as close to perfection as humanly possible but at the cost of having invested it all.

You get choose; Be a perfectionist or be productive and create five times more?

Or in my case;
Bootcamp myself on sheer willpower into a daily ninety minute yoga routine
OR
make only a thirty minute video, and then use the other eighty percent of my energy to write a daily column, publish my eight books, translate my Witte Tijgerin guide from Dutch to English, update my websites, run a yoga studio, be a writer and have a flourishing social life?

The meaning of Done is better than perfect,  has never been more clear.

<3LSH
An unexamined life is not worth living

I post a daily yoga video on YouTube

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Confessions of a Yoga Teacher – Fake

carrie

by LS Harteveld

From yoga teacher, to writer, to student.
From cat mother to mistress.
I never considered myself someone who could live up to any of those titles.

Yoga teacher?
I totally stand for my style and for the bonus teachings I offer my students. But my home yoga practice only comes to life if I’m on a challenge, I do eat the occasional sausage, or I’ll have an Angus burger, and I haven’t attended a workshop from another teacher in years. I get all my inspiration online, and in most cases not even from yoga teachers.

Writer?
I don’t have any formal training, and I stopped reading a decade ago. Just like my home yoga practice vaporized the moment I became a yoga teacher, I stopped reading the moment I started writing. And I have no intention of going back.

Student?
For my high school career, to my academic career as well as my yoga career; I got the highest diplomas that were available at the time. And I’ve had every experience, from being top of my class, to being the slowest. But every education ended in one passionate desire.
To get the goddamn thing finished, and run.

Cat mother?
I won’t bother you with the details on why my ex brought me our two cats, that we had agreed on would be his two cats. Just that I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
But up until he arrived with our fur-babies at my doorstep, he had taken care of all the doctor visits. I had never administered medication, nor put our nine pounder into his carrier to take him to the VET. On the back of my bicycle no less.
Half a dozen doctor’s visits later, I had to start feeding the cats separately, because the big one, Willem, had a kidney problem. He got a diet and a pill for that. It tasted nice, and Willem always ate everything he could get his paws on, so I could grind the medicine and put in his food. It saved his life. But just a few weeks after kidney gate, he got diabetes and I had to learn to inject insuline and to draw blood to measure his sugar levels.
Me!
I m scared of needles!
Ultimately he was cured from diabetes. And I was cured from thinking I couldn’t. But only because I literally had to choose between stepping into my power as a cat mom, or letting him down and staying the fearful woman who I was. Not because I was talented in any way.

Mistress?
I feel mistresses are these friendly, poised beings, who will effortlessly make a man feel good about himself. They’re worth putting your marriage on the line for. A good mistress is discreet and in control of her emotions.
A good mistress does not write a whole book about her affair, in order to deal with the emotional mayhem that would crush her if she didn’t let it out.
That’s not how it goes.

But despite all of those things, and despite still feeling I don’t meet the standards of any of those labels, I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Because if I had showed up with the perfect yoga-teacher-mindset, a sixth sense for cats, or as a perfect mistress, I would not have learned anything remotely interesting. I would not have learned to push myself, to reinvent myself, to rise above what I thought was possible.

We all choose our own way to grow. My best friend migrated this week, and one of the reasons I could pretty easily let her go was not because I necessarily think she will be happier there, than here. Although of course I do wish her the best, and hope she will love it there.
But the reason I could easily let her go was that I believe, being challenged by living in a foreign country is her preferred way of growing. She’s done it before. She has a whole history of travelling and of working abroad.
Whereas I have a whole history of not feeling connected to my peers.
Of dating bad boys.
Of creating situations where it only comes down to me, either doing it.
Or failing.
I never want to be part of a group, or be dependent in any way. My preferred way of growing is to love someone (friend, lover, cat, yoga, my eight books) so much that bailing out is unthinkable. And inevitably, like any relationship, the only way to make it sustainable is if I rise above my limitations. Above what I learned in school, above what my peers are doing, above what I thought my limitations were. And to completely reinvent myself.

Because ultimately the only thing that needs to be real about me, is me.

<3LSH
An unexamined life is not worth living

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Confessions of a Yoga Teacher – Anal Sex

yes-even-carrie-bradshaw-owned-a-naked-dress-188203-main.1200x627uc

This is an informative piece. If you’re not into anal sex, this is not for you.
If you want to try it, male or female, being the doer or the receiver, this is for you.
Simple right?

by LS Harteveld

A few days ago, an article on VICE caught my attention. Gay Guys: You’re Douching Wrong  For someone who opens her 2015-2016 diary with a story called; The Biggie, about the first time successful anal sex, this was irresistible click bait. Especially because I got to see the Dutch VICE version, which had the words anale seks right there in the header.

For years, my gay best friend was my coach when it came to anal sex. Or any sex for that matter. I started confiding in him, when multiple partners had proven to be insufficiently skilled or motivated to take the lead when it came to anal sex, and I was trying to make it work. The first time Damian and me ever spoke about anal sex, was years into our friendship. I had found myself in a relationship where it was an option, again. But I would have to be the one to make it work, again. I would have to initiate, and manage the whole anal deflowering scene, as well as any emotional stuff it might bring up for me, and yet I was STILL willing to give it a go.
That’s how fascinated I was with it.
It didn’t work out though.
I got a lot of information from my friend – about douching/ clearing out and of course lots of lube but I knew that one – but before my partner and me got that far, he bailed out.

Years later I got a bi-sexual partner, who had experience with the clearing out, as well as with the practice of anal sex both top and bottom. And he bought me a simple anal douche bottle that I could use. He knew I wanted to because I had told him about my gay best friend telling me this was best practice in the gay scene. I intended to use the bottle, and to repeat it until the water that came out was clean. Only to end up with diarrhea and a very painful anus. I tried preparing for a second date as well, limiting it to only one enema instead of repeating it until the water was clear. But this date too, I could only have normal sex, and I told him not to go near my tormented back side. And why. And that I’d had enough. I was done trying to be clean, only to end up being anally ruined before the fun started.
And he was sweet and totally fine with it.
We stayed together for a little while longer, and we did do some backside explorations, but not as successful and full-on as I would have liked to. Leaving me very disappointed and frustrated.
Again.

My chances turned when I got together with my current lover Big. He nailed it on one of our first encounters. You can read the story here in The Biggie.
The key ingredient for successful anal sex, was not to have a clear anus, but to have a clear lover. Clear in his communication, in his intention, in his desire to do this. I needed a man to initiate, propose, lure me in, comfort me. I needed his faith both in himself, as well as in me, as well as in in US. Faith that we would be okay, regardless of what comes up.

In other words?
I needed an amazingly good and one-hundred percent loving “top”. A guy who knows what he’s doing, and who will stand by you no matter what.

Because that’s the real reason us bottoms want to be cleared out.
Not because we don’t know that technically the first bit of you bum is not a storage area.
Not because we don’t know that 9 times out of 10 you’ll be clear anyway.
Not because we haven’t come up with what the doctor in the Vice article says;
“Just put down a towel and go for it.”
Not because we are super polite and think showering our intestines is part of being courteous.

The reason the bottoms take their enemas and their showerheads up their butt is because we are ashamed of being rejected, after one of the most vulnerable sex acts we will probably ever engage in.

The Vice article explains why from a medical perspective, clearing out is an unhealthy habit. But from an emotional perspective, the prospect is even bleaker.
It’s a sign you’re with the wrong man. 

<3LSH
An unexamined life is not worth living

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Confessions of a Yoga Teacher – Big Secret

Oby LS Harteveld

I once had a normal relationship. We were college sweethearts, and when it ended, we had become brother and sister. We were the best of friends and trusted each other with our lives. But today I realized, that the transparency and the openness that characterized the good part of our relationship, was not at all how we started out.

When our feelings for each other started, we were both involved. He had been seeing the same girl for five years, and me the same guy for three. Or maybe four-and-a-half and two-and-a-half would be more accurate. Because we beat around the bush for half a year, before we finally succumbed.

There was a week or so overlap on his side, but I considered that a formality. That’s one of my main traps; I always feel him breaking up will be just a formality.
But in 1993 my assessment had been accurate, and he broke up with her. Just like I had done with my boyfriend. Not necessarily because I thought this new man would be the love of my life- although at fourteen years he would come closer than anybody else – but because I didn’t want to be in a relationship with my then-boyfriend anymore.
Had not wanted to be there for over a year.
But a previous breakup had proven to be unsustainable because I had doubted my decision. He had been a good man, and I’d felt sorry for him. When I fell in love with the guy who would later become Mr. Fourteen Years, I still didn’t take this as evidence I was in the wrong relationship. And I considered myself mentally unstable, and unfit to make decisions until the crush had faded. When it didn’t, I broke up anyway.
Crazy and all.

I didn’t want to make the new thing public, especially because I didn’t expect this new guy to last. We were attending the same university, and shared the same group of friends, and I didn’t want to be known as someone who had casual sex. Even though in hindsight I think any twenty year old coming out of a three year relationship has actually deserved her casual sex, but okay.
I chose not to tell. And it kept my options open with other men. There was nothing to win from telling. So I didn’t.

After our first summer break I stopped being secretive about it. Sometimes people asked why I had not been open before. It had annoyed them. Because they had wanted to know, and I had lied or refused to answer.
I think I said something along the lines of:
“I wanted to see how it worked out, before I came out.”
But now I realize it didn’t have anything to do with that.
Fear of getting a reputation?
Totally irrelevant.
The real reason I didn’t tell my peers I was seeing him, was the plain and simple:
Because it turned me on.
A lot.
And the secrecy surrounding our early beginnings, glued us together for the fourteen years to come. 

Currently I am in another relationship that is a secret, with a man I call Big. I don’t have to rationalize why we keep it a secret because there are multiple valid reasons. I actually failed to see that this was serving me. That it was my preferred way of having a relationship, and that I would probably make up reasons to keep it a secret, rather than coming out with it.
Not because I wouldn’t be thrilled to dive in, and get to know everything there is to know about him.
Not because I wouldn’t want to melt together, heart, body and finances, the whole
shebang.
Not
because it could blow up in our face, and we could prove to be a terrible match.
Much worse.
The reason I resist ever having a normal relationship again is that there is a fair chance we 
would be a real team, and form an unbreakable, fully transparent union for the rest of our lives.  And I will do anything within my power, including lying, manipulating, arguing and unleashing the most unreasonable side of myself, to make sure that never happens.
Again.

<3LSH
An unexamined life is not worth living

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Confessions of a Yoga Teacher – Hermit

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 presetby LS Harteveld
I m not a group person.
Ever since my college years, I have seen groups as somewhat of a nessecary evil. And in an equal number of cases, as unnecessary. And therefor evil. And yet, despite me being super opinionated about it, I never saw myself as not being a group person. Because I have done okay, functioning within social structures.
I never had trouble in school, or college, and I have about a dozen friends who I see regularly, and one friendship that exceeds all others. With my best friend Marieke.
Sometimes I can even flat out shine and sparkle in a group, as if I m a celebrity. I don’t consider myself an introvert of any, ANY kind!
Because that seems to be a trend.
After men who were real players saying “I m actually very shy” we now have loud, ballsy women, claiming to be introverts. As if being introvert stopped having anything to do with how you interact with the world.
The strongest evidence I m not a group person, is that I prefer, NEED, nourish and defend my inner world, way more than my social life or status.
And with my best friend leaving, I find myself thinking:
What do I want next?
A few weeks back I did some research on narcissism. For a few very dark days of my life, I actually believed I was “one of them”. But although I carry a lot of their traits, the ones that made me dismiss the whole notion of having a narcissistic personality, were that a narcissist does not feel empathy – whereas I can cry when someone tells me a story of something personal.
And a narcissist would wither away if he would not have other people to give him his validation. Whereas I find myself absolutely needing solitude, as in being in my house all by myself, for a bare minimum of 16 hours a day.
Now I have social media of course. But – as addictive as they are – they are basically how I choose to run my business. Social media are a blessing for working hermits! We can be home alone, with our own coffee, and taking care of babies or in my case a cat, and all we have to do to get shit done, is ignore the red notification bullets on Facebook. That’s WAY easier that trying to ignore your boss, your colleagues, or social etiquette. This new millennium is the age of the Hermit, who loves to work solitary.
But as far as friendship goes, I m not sure what’s up next for me. I haven’t committed to any dates, not with women friends, not with men, for the week after my friend has left. Maybe I ll keep going for last minute arrangements, just like I always do/ did with her.
“Want to go for fries tonight?”
“Awesome.”
Although I don’t feel a need to keep going for fries, but you get the idea.
The only thing that really, actively, appeals to me, is seeing more men. Because men are totally different to me, and to my friend. Having more man dates would be a new, invigorating phase in my life.
One I m even prepared to leave my house for.
<3LSH
An unexamined life is not worth living

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Nocturnal Notes – Unfiltered and dark thoughts, written before midnight.

May 2017, originally posted on Facebook

BABY

photo Brassai

photo Brassai

I heard a baby cry.
I was halfway in my second class, and suddenly I knew why I felt so horrible. And why a student said I looked “different”.
And why I thought I would be sick.
Because I heard a baby cry.
It was about fifteen minutes in my first class and I heard the cries and for some reason I imagined the baby being abandoned in a parked car. But because I was in my class, and had no reason to believe this was true, I ignored it. Pushed it aside.
Until much later when I started wondering why I felt this poorly, when all I remembered was a successful class without any incidents.
It even had a nice social ending, where everyone seemed to know each other, and lingered around to chat.
That’s when I remembered.
Before that.
Fifteen minutes into the first class.
I heard a baby cry.

CHAKRA

I don’t do chakras. Not anymore anyway. I studied them extensively in ancient times. Before I basically dismissed them as a yoga teacher fad.
I don’t know if I actually thought they didn’t have value.
It wasn’t relevant. They were used by the vegan, raw food, mantra singing legit yoga community which was plenty of reason for me to never come near them again.
And besides who would want to hear about them anyway right?
I had a modern studio.
Chakras were 2009
Except when talking to my students about what they would like as a summer program, a couple of things were brought in. One was chakras.
As sort of a preview, I decided on a half hour Travel Through the Chakras relaxation. Improvised. On the spot.
It.
Was.
Pure.
Magic.
They may be a fad, but that stuff works.
Probably since ancient times.

GROUP

I m purging my mailbox and Facebook subscriptions, unsubscribing from tons of newsletters, as well as all my Facebook Tribes. Those are free (no fee) exclusive groups, usually for women only. They’re from coaches mostly, but you they exist for all sorts of service providers.
A group is a safe place where people can ask and answer questions.
Safe, because each individual member has to be cleared by the moderator before entering the group.
Having that said, this is also a bit of my problem…. I feel groups provide a false sense of safety. You never know if a profile is genuine, and I suppose it’s especially the ones who use the groups for grooming, that will not participate in regular conversation, but will probably directly message to other group members.
Next to that, I m unsure if Facebook offers the option to hide your group members from preying eyes in the first place. I know it doesn’t on regular pages, only on personal profiles.

My page White Tigress (men do have to send a message before entering) on how to create a solitary sexual lifestyle, provides an excellent topic for a closed circle.
But I feel I m extremely cautious about this.

First of all, there already are a couple of White Tigress groups.
So why bother with another one.

Secondly, I just generally don’t like groups. And after today’s purge I m positive I ll never join one again.
I find them distracting, and can’t imagine being a good moderator or inspirator in that kind of environment.
So I had already made my peace with:
not gonna happen.

I do get private messages (for both LSHarteveld as well as White Tigress) from people who don’t want to respond in public, and I think that’s a good thing.
Because the pages are public, people are AWARE their information is public, and will not accept invitations from strangers suggesting some sort of false intimacy, because you’re supposedly in the same group.

And last but not least:
I think the White Tigress, with its provocative sexual message is much better served with openness and clarity. If we go into hiding, we suggest there’s something to hide.
If we seek safety and support with each other, it suggests we don’t feel safe and supported by ourselves, when we go out and do our White Tigress THING.
Which means dating and meeting men because it energizes us.

In China a White Tigress was trained by an experienced Tigress, and had no choice but to hide her sexuality and intentions for the outside world. But in the West this is not true. It is mostly self-study and experience, and I think most singles would like the idea of being- or having- a role model, about how to live an authentic, solitary, sexual life.
We don’t have to hide, and there are so many women who would be inspired if those a bit further on the path were open about how they did it, and how much they enjoy it.

And it is a path for lifelong singles after all!
I think we should keep every woman, and every Tigress, in her own strength and autonomy. And let her develop and move forward at her own pace. Maybe that’s a little slower than if you have group support, but it is a SOLITARY path.
Everyone agrees on that.
So why would you start that off, by relying on any other person than yourself?
Did I miss anything? Thoughts?

SOBER

Maybe it’s because I don’t drink that I have this fascination for the darkness of my inner world.
These final hours of the day.
Whether I come home from teaching or from a date in the city, like I do now, they are heavy, sedated, unconscious. The opposite of what I experience during the day. Devoid of beauty, lightness, energy. I always question whether they’re malignant. If I was the devil I would wait for people here.

They say most people die in the final hours of the night. Right before the sun rises. It’s then, when despair is felt most. If you would ask people who work nights they would tell you:
Yes. The hospital seems inauspicious, between four and six.
Yes. I am most tired in the final hours of my shift.
No. You don’t get used to this.
But those hours? Most of us experience a blissful sleep.

But here, the final hours of the day, most adults are still awake. Not all.
I realize now I have always suspected people who go to bed at ten, to run away from the heaviness of these final hours. That they can’t handle it.
Or that they are blinded by the holy grail of a productive morning. There are whole books written about that, did you know that?
“How to become an early riser”
“The Miracle Morning”
Although I could see their value, I never made a serious effort to read, let alone implement, these books.
I realize now, I have never been interested in adding more productive fresh hours to my day.

I long for the stillness, the inertness, of the night. When my thoughts are black, and my willpower is weak.

Yes, if I was the devil, I would wait for people here.

TOWER

Ever since I moved out from my parents, I have never lived in particularly good neighborhoods. At best, I was lucky with the neighbors. And some years I wasn’t.
Today there is a party with a tent, a karaoke bar, noise disturbance. Has been going on for hours and it’s almost 1 AM. But I ve had worse. Much worse.
For years I had a ground floor apartment, a vulnerable position for a woman living alone. At New Years Eve a tent appeared just a few doors down from me. A night followed that bore closest resemblance to Devil’s Night from the movie the Crow.
With motor gangs, drugs, criminals. vandalism and illegal fireworks that made the windows shake. It went on till about six in the morning, and it included ringing my doorbell.
They did it two New Years Eves before they were stopped, before the tent caught fire, or before anyone was massacred.
At least, as far as I know.
I now live high above street level, in a secured building. The tent is one whole street from my house, and my bedroom is on the other side where I’ll probably won’t hear a thing.
After twenty-five years of turmoil, I can spend the latter years of my life in peace.

 BREASTS

I started making daily yoga videos. It is an easy way to commit myself to a daily yoga routine with public accountability. I won’t go in depth why I had fallen off the wagon of doing yoga one hour a day, but I had. With my priority being writing at the moment (and teaching yoga- but that’s accountable already) I didn’t have the energy to invent my home practice yet again.
So I invented the daily half hour video.
There were more reasons, but this was the main one.

Because the main motivation was to let this half hour of semi-private yoga practice nourish myself – a necessity, especially when you’re behind your desk doing cognitive shit the rest of the day- I promised myself I didn’t have to post the video if I wasn’t comfortable with the result.
Which is why last weekend, I skipped a day.
I had been wearing a regular bra, instead of a sports bra. When I did my forward folds towards the camera, you could see my cleavage.

Even though I have long made my peace in my regular classes with the occasional cleavage – and with shirts that curl up and reveal my waist, pants that stick to my butt, the list is endless – coming to terms with it on a YouTube channel is a whole different ballgame.
I still feel there are MEN looking and they are NOT doing yoga. And somehow, somewhere, I started making that MY PROBLEM.

In my regular classes, I can accept that we’re working with our bodies. I m not teaching in deliberately revealing clothes, but I think it’s idiotic to fuss too much about it either.
Yoga still carries this Indian slash Victorian women shaming, where it’s okay for men to do yoga in loincloths, but women are not allowed to have bear shoulders.
From that perspective it’s almost a sacred duty, as a female yoga teacher, to set a good example that although there is no reason to dress as if you’re going out, you should never have to be ashamed of your curves showing, your legging being see-through or whatever.
Just give it a shot of looking decent and you’re good to go.

It took me over ten years of teaching before I came to terms with that. So perhaps it was no surprise that on day two or three of my daily yoga experiment, I decided to not post it, and redo the session the next day. With the right bra, and not facing the camera directly when bending over.

I just saw the result of what I ll post tomorrow. The camera is placed in front of a mirror. Which means you can see the camera in the mirror. I am also standing there, sideways, so you can see my butt twice – the real one and the reflection. Making it look like I have a really big butt. Eight Sun Salutations long.
I m wearing low waist pants, and although I deliberately wore girl boxers underneath, it still looks revealing every time I bend over.
Curves. Butt. Crappy camera position.
I almost clicked delete file.

Until I realized that this was the whole point. To grow to a new level of being comfortable with myself. Of course I ll learn from this, and position the camera more carefully tomorrow. But the real self-improvement comes from learning to sit through the discomfort of making mistakes, to give up perfectionism, to deal with the automated response of shame when feeling exposed. That is the real yoga.

I cannot make a video a day with the “old” me. I HAVE TO grow. I have to let go. I have to reinvent myself and become this woman who is more committed to delivering a video every day, than to her own ego of always looking her best, and being in control of what people see of her.

They say perfectionism is fear in high heels.
I have to give up the perfectionism, fear, AND the heels, to make this through.

And I will.

You can follow my daily yoga videos by subscribing to my YouTube channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXpNMsIFP2U34A0yBKk8PUQ

FRAIL

On hot days, I feel so overwhelmed by the danger of the high temperature and the sun for children and animals. When I go out I have to close myself off, even more than usual. So that I can limit my worry to the dogs I trip over, and children that are impossible to miss.
Not adults, I can shut myself off there, almost completely.
Just not from beggars, most of them anyway.
I can feel their suffering too.
I wonder why it is I feel them, and not other adults.
Maybe they don’t invest in shielding their pain from the world, because their pain is why we care and give them money.
Maybe if the suffering of animals and children was relieved with a few euros, I wouldn’t shut myself off.

FATE

I think there is a fair chance something is wrong with me. And that I have the choice between having a painstaking diagnosis process and treatment, or a short life and early death.
It is on moments like this that I m so happy I decided years ago I was going to do the second. To just let life die out naturally.
I m not going to tell you my symptoms, because I don’t want your opinion, expert or not. I may see a doctor still, to exclude it’s something simple that can be solved with some pills. But otherwise zero fucks given to an accurate diagnosis.
But I’m not totally care-free on this one.
I m working on my eight books, editing the edited versions. Not the most inspiring phase. It’s like finding out you need to strip all the wallpaper and redecorate, after you have painted already. It’s not that it’s not going to be beautiful, or that I can’t see result. But it feels like I m redoing something that was already ready and done ages ago.
My books were written from 2006-2016. Although they have been published online in different stages of being ready – and I will share a link to new updated stories soon – even though they have been shared I won’t rest until they are uploaded, and available in ebook and print, at my publisher as well as through Amazon and the biggest Dutch book vendor as well.
Once that is done, they will stay available for ever. Completely automated.
THEN I can die.
Sometimes I wonder if I have to inform my loved ones that for a brief period of time, they have to reanimate me if I get a stroke. So I can finish what I came here to do.
I WILL finish what I came here to do.
And then, we ll see a doctor about some pills. Maybe.

LIGHT (final daily update)

I think it’s a combination of things. One of them that I quit drinking coffee today. Suddenly my bed seems like a great place to be at 11.30 pm. Instead of behind my computer.

These nocturnal notes had the purpose of releasing my fears before going to bed, but I find myself actively looking for them now. Eager for a topic to write about.
That’s the other way around.
That’s not their real purpose.

Also, I m currently making daily videos for YouTube. AND I m writing daily for my Facebook M Yoga (Dutch)
Although technically they’re business content, i consider them hobby projects. Just like this. I love doing them.
If I would have a regular job, I would get up at five in the morning to make and post that daily yoga video, that’s how much I love it.

You can follow my daily 30 minute yoga routines at my YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXpNMsIFP2U34A0yBKk8PUQ
I m doing the Madonna series, which means that for one year, all videos are named after Madonna songs.

Tomorrow I m starting on Ray of Light. Which is Madonna’s best album EVER. It’s so new and fresh, it really was a rebirth for her. And it inspires me as well, to start nourishing the good things in life. To look for the light, and be reborn.

And not dwell on nightly thoughts of the devil, unless they haunt you, keeping you awake.

Then, my friend, I will know where to find this sanctuary.

<3LSH
An unexamined life is not worth living

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