I woke up early this morning feeling very happy and dare I say, content? It is hard to know exactly as I am not by nature, the content type. But I think this is a glimpse at what it must be like. Even yesterday when I was asked what I wanted from my practice ,(which is another story all together) I couldn't really say. I am really happy with what my practice is bringing me right now. I am even pleased with what I am bringing to my practice. I am not so much in a state of wanting more from it nor an I in the mood to demand much more of myself right now. My practice is so rich and full as it is. It is just brimming with learning on and off my mat, with great company that I am finding so inspiring, lots of laughter and the slow, steady opening within my body, mind and heart.
I had another great week teaching and connecting with all my yoga students and friends. Anne and I spent some time together yesterday and she came to visit Anusara Yoga Land in the evening. For those of you who do not know my sister, Anne, she is among other things, a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher. (She is also a philosophy professor, a lover of good food and drink, she is funny, smart, humble, an avid student, she is loyal which makes her a great friend and confidante and as Jeri noted on Anne's blog she is also strongly committed to caffeine in the form of high quality coffee. (Except in India where this standard lapsed and became subsumed by the exploration of cold,frothy, frappe-type coffee drinks. It was hot- you could not blame her.)So occasionally I go with her to visit Iyengar Yoga Land (IYL) (Sometimes, like for a month we even go all the way to India to visit IYL) And occasionally, she comes with me to Anusara Yoga Land.
So Thursday nights at YogaYoga have been really fun these last few weeks. I get to teach my 6:00 hatha class in the little room, which is my favorite room in all of YogaYoga to teach in. I love everyone being so close together because, for one thing, it makes my energy management as a teacher so much easier- I do not have to project myself into such a big space. Also, I can see everyone so well, make adjustments more easily and the feeling of us all "being in this together" is just inescapable. Last week we had 30 folks in the room; this week 27! (Maybe it was something I said to those three people...hmmmm...)
One of my first impressions of learning Anusara Yoga was how much fun it was. I remember commenting on that to Desiree and she said, "You know, people can work just as hard when they are laughing and enjoying themselves as they can in a very strict environment." So-obviously there is a balance with it, but consistenyl it becomes obvious to me that the very serious, austere yoga practitioner is just not that happy in our classes. After all, we laugh, tell jokes, make fun of ourselves and see enjoying one another as an essential part of our path in Anusara Yoga. So, if you do not want to play in your practice, best to steer clear of that little room at south studio at 6pm on Thursdays.
The advanced classes were great this week also. I am committed to really helping the people who come to that class move beyond the "Advanced Hatha is a flow class with a handstand thrown in" mentality so we are going to be diving into the deep hip openers, arm balances and back bends beyond urdhva danurasana. (That is if you all keep coming back because we have to build these things over time!) The thing about advanced postures is that they are built from the basic postures. So once you understand the basic postures, once you understand the alignment that informs the basic postures, then approaching the advanced poses becomes way less mysterious and whole lot of- you got it- FUN!
So- that's it for this morning. I am going to the river to kayak with Kelly before enjoying the rest of my "day off". Tomorrow I am teaching arm balances and inversions at NorthWest. Check it out- http://www.yogayoga.com/workshops/aug. Please come if you can. If they tell you it is sold out, please come anyway. I rarely believe in "sold out"- I will make space for you. All levels are welcome so long as you have an open to learning and playing, will acknowledge your limits, are willing to laugh at yourself. (However if you have a shoulder injury or something like that, these are not the best classes for you.)