I feel truly, exceptionally and powerfully blessed. So many people have dropped me notes to wish me well and to encourage me over the past year. I have no idea what my life would be like, had my life's course not veered into unknown territory. However, one thing that I do know: I'm eternally grateful for those special folks who have reached out to me. I'm encouraged by your stories, by your thoughtfulness, by your willingness to get to know me and by the new friends I've made. In addition, you have all asked me some good questions. Rather than repeat myself, I've decided to do a Q & A segment on Preppy Yogini. I've done this on other blogs, but not here. So, I hope that I'm managing to answer most of your questions. If not? I plan on doing another one in time. Thank you again for all of your kindness and understanding.
- How did you come up with the name "Preppy Yogini"? I did blog piece on this very story about six months ago, called The Bohemian Sloth. When I was doing my yoga teacher training, I was blessed with many fantastic instructors. Unfortunately, one was just hideous. He was a cross between Attila the Hun and the worst Kindergarten teacher ever. He made fun of people. He pushed students to the point of injury and he was simply a rotten person, let alone a terrible instructor. When I questioned his methodology, he spat out, "You're nothing but a preppy yogini". He meant it as the most derogatory slur imaginable. I wear it like a badge of honor now.
- You talk about Maine a lot. Are you from Maine? Yes...and no. To a true, iconoclastic Mainer, I am not. I wasn't born here. Therefore, I'm from "away". But, I have spent many years here, first as a summer person growing up, and then with my husband and our children. I grew up in California and New York, and went to school in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, before moving to Europe for four years. I enjoy living in Maine, but I also love traveling to other places. I get itchy feet if I'm in one place too long.
- What made you become a yoga instructor? How did you become one? I had been practicing yoga for years before my first cancer diagnosis in 2003. I had three surgeries in just 7 weeks. It was tough! But, yoga was instrumental in helping me recover. When I was well enough, I resigned from my job in traditional education and studied at Kripalu and Gentle Spirit Yoga for my 200 hour R.Y.T. certification. I felt tremendously encouraged by own instructors and this inspired me to pursue my own path in teaching.
- What's your favorite yoga style of practice? What do you recommend? That's like asking a mother who her favorite child is! I have honestly enjoyed every form of yoga I've practiced. I believe that every class, regardless of yogic 'arm', has the potential to be fabulous for all levels. It really comes down to the teacher and her willingness to give of herself to her students. For beginners, I generally recommend classes that are Hatha based, or that offer Yoga Foundations. It's a great starting point.
- You have mentioned being sick. What was wrong? How are you doing? I'm doing much better! A year ago, I was slowly starting to walk around and drive again. Unfortunately, my Sarcoma based cancer returned. This time, my surgery and procedures were even more invasive...and I'm also 8 years older, making my recovery that much more difficult. The form of cancer I have is not treatable by radiation or chemotherapy. Surgery is my only option. I had some pretty intense setbacks, but I'm on the road to recovery again. It's just a very slow road. Think Los Angeles traffic at rush hour slow.
- Why have you stopped doing book reviews? I am still reading up a storm and look forward to writing reviews again on this blog. When I created Ellen's Thirty Day Book Challenge last Spring, I actually ended up reviewing more than 30 books, since I had an impossible time narrowing my list down. I burned out on writing book reviews for a while, as a result.
- I like your writing. Have you been published? Years ago, I was published in Parenting, Mothering, The Doula and several other magazines aimed at that life path. I haven't been published since then. I hope to be again. I'm working on several different pieces...but all seem to be longer than magazine articles. I look forward to continuing my writing. While it would be an honor to be published, I truly write for myself and my own spirit. Anything beyond that would be fresh butter cream icing on a very dense carrot cake.
- What other hobbies do you enjoy? Beyond writing, reading and yoga, I love design. I think I'm actually a frustrated art director in a yogini's skin! I also love animals...I have two dogs now, but have had horses, cats and one very special bunny during my life. I love good wine, scintillating conversation, travel and long walks on the beach at sunset. Seriously though...I really do love long walks on the beach at sunset.
- Are you still teaching yoga? Can I join your class? Unfortunately, my last surgery, the complications that ensued, made teaching yoga impossible for me. I am adjusting to a new definition of normal. If you're going to be in coastal Maine or the greater Scottsdale, Arizona areas, I'd be happy to recommend some amazing teachers. I am taking 3-4 classes a week again, and am enjoying the simplicity of being a student at this time.
- What's next for you? I wish I knew. I really wish I knew! I have no idea. I do know that it's time to figure out who I'm going to be as a grown up. It would be nice if the universe sent out smoke signals to give me a hint. While I'm looking for said clues in the heavens, I'm doing a lot of volunteer work in my community. And drinking far too much tea.
Thank you again. Best wishes. Enjoy. Namaste!