As many of you are aware, I took a hiatus from studio Yoga classes for several months. Mostly due to cost- it is just SO expensive for yoga classes and with my contract ending last month, an eco-wedding to plan for and possible months of unemployment to prepare for, 16-18$ a class was not a "necessity". I was also becoming more disillusioned from the entire "yoga as a business" vs Yoga as spirituality. No other forms of spirituality cost hundreds of dollars a month...
In any case, several readers suggested I try energy exchanges... and so I did.
Initially I tried to problem solve what expertise I could barter with... I can sing... ummm... lol. My favourite (and still unsuccessful) was a workshop for teachers wanting bring yoga to children and adults with speech and language disorders. How to use Augmentative Communication devices, low tech such as pictures, signs or visual schedules. Things to consider for children with special needs such as how to transition, what if they have receptive language disorders or are hearing impaired. It would involve a full powerpoint workshop and hands-on practice and case studies. Seriously, I am so excited about this idea.
No one else seems to be... sigh. In any case, perhaps something to consider for the future.
What I did receive a response for, though, was cleaning skills. Yep, I can clean like the best of them. My first job was as a housekeeper for rich Americans at their family-owned mansion in my tiny fishing village. There is something essentially humbling in being told to "speak when spoken to" and to clean someone else's toilet and bathtub. Every teenager should have this experience. My favourite memory- a woman who had a meltdown because she found a "white substance" on her sink... it was comet.
Although I have a master's degree and have been working as a professional for three years, I am not above mopping floors for free yoga. Today was my first energy exchange experience!
I *hoped* fervently as I mentally prepared for the experience that the owner of the studio used eco-friendly cleaning supplies... perhaps I should bring some vinegar? I resisted and my heart sank when I saw the swiffer (dry and wet mops), rolls of white white papertowel and clorox and method cleaning supplies.
Slow but steady, Lisa. The owner is a fantastic teacher (one of my favs in the city who was a BC massage therapist pre-yoga instructor) and she was very accommodating to my questions and "ideas".
Unfortunately I had to reveal that I had no idea how to work a swiffer... as we only ever had a broom. The owner's method- making a pile and somehow mopping the rocks and salt (from the street) up. Since there was no broom or dust pan it took forever to wet the paper towel and pick up the dirt piles pre-mopping. I also mopped the studio while she was heating it up for the next class... it was 30 degrees celcius and I will definitely be wearing yoga gear next week.
Each paper towel felt unnatural and dirty as I cleaned the sinks and desk. Thankfully, after a timid suggestion, I will be able to bring my broom-dust pan, a bucket and a rag next Sunday! I'm also going to create a vinegar and water concoction that hopefully won't leave a residue on the studio floors (essential oil scent suggestions? I was thinking clary sage to clarify the energy of the studio... just a few drops... or perhaps tea tree for anti-bacterial properties).
There is nothing like manual labour to imbue a sense of satisfaction in work. When you are finished you have something to SHOW for your hard work. I was always a sucker for that kinda job- loved being a bartender for that reason as well.
I also tried to find Yoga as I worked today. Despite the fact that it took 2 hours to clean the entire studio (hopefully next Sunday will go more quickly), I tried to feel my breath, to find Joy and Stillness while I worked. It was beautiful to feel connected to a space where so many Yogi/nis sweat, breathe and practice.
And darn if I won't gradually eco-fy that studio.
I am one sneaky EcoYogini ;)
Now I just need to figure out what class I'll take for free this week! WOOT.
article and photo copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com