by Annie Carlin

Where there’s smoke…

Wild fires are not something you normally deal with on the east coast and not something I ever thought I would experience up close. Yet here I was, in the Southwest for the first time, in the middle of what people were calling the worst wild fire season ever. There is something so primal, and, of course, terrifying, about seeing smoke cover the sky. Several people remarked to me that it looked like the end of the world. And it did – the setting sun was a dark angry red and the smoke coming out from the Hemas mountains looked like a nuclear mushroom cloud.

So I think you can probably imagine that closing meditation became kind of meaningless in the face of that kind of scene. Dinner? Forget it. Every instinct screamed to just sit and stare at the fury of nature. But we shuffled inside and meditated. I forget what we were supposed to concentrate on, but I think I probably thought about the impermanence of nature or something equally important (right…). And then there was an epic journey across Santa Fe to find a restaurant that was open on a Sunday night. We finally went to Cowgirl and sat outside, listening to people argue about whether the darkness was an impending thunderstorm or the smoke, and then get to work on their bar-b-q. And once our food came, the only thing I was thinking about was how much I needed the protien and iron in my delicious plate of brisket.


Today is my first day back at work…

“What are you doing to prevent spiritual whiplash” asks Steph in an email….


I made myself a list during the 3 weeks of training of all the poses I would use in my self practice. I determined that I could spend 20 minutes a day meditating, 30 minutes practicing asana and 10 minutes in savasana. That’s an hour – 1/24 of my day. Easy right?


Here is the real challenge – more difficult by far than a million sirsasana variations. Taking the practice, and the accompanying calm and peace it engenders off of “planet yoga” (tm Blakeney) and into my “normal” life. I’m feeling emotional, at sea and deeply missing my time in Santa Fe, despite how difficult it was. This afternoon will be my first attempt at bringing that practice into my way too cluttered and messy home. Wish me luck!

NEWBIE chronicles the journey of a new yoga teacher.  From teacher training to building a business, follow Annie Carlin as she details the highs and lows of finding her place amidst one of the worlds oldest practices. 


About The Mala Yoga Blog

We are a Brooklyn-based studio that focuses on alignment, balance and community. Have a read, try one of our Practice Podcasts, or come in and say "hi" in person!
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