Monday, October 29, 2007

Immersion Weekend

So here are the pictures from the Immersion.
I am not sure if we would say the Immersion was fun for people this weekend, but I do hope it was inspiring and meaningful. What I mean is that we struggled some together this weekend. Many people were stuggling with their energy levels, with a sense of confusion, with mental faigue from taking in so much information and with some of my demands for skillful action in the different postures and so on.
In my last entry I wrote that we would be doing the Spirals of the arms and legs this weekend and I mentioned that they are sometimes quite confusing for people. When we really first beginning to explore them in detail, the descriptions sound foreign and make no sense. There really is a grappling required to understand this method intellectually and then hours of practice required to feel the subtleties kinesthetically. And there are no short cuts.
When I was learning the method, however, no one broke it all down for me like this. I learned one little thing at a time, completely out of order, and it wasn't until many years into the process, the matrix of it all came alive and the deep order of it was obvious. So, in some ways, the step-by-step presentation of an immersion is a short cut compared to how many of us had to learn it! But even still, a teacher can only explain the information. A student must grapple with it, struggle with it, chew on it over and over and finally through effort, practice and Grace, digest the information, assimilate it and have it as their own.
So this weekend I did my best to impress upon everyone how much of the "digestion process" is incumbent on the student. Really, the teacher prepares the meal and serves it. That is it. Occasionally if indigestion arises, the teacher is there with antacids or ginger tea or some other digestive aid. But the student must serve themselves from all that is offered, eat, chew, digest, assimilate and so on for themselves. Of course we have company along the way, but no one can do the work for us. It is just not the way the Process is Designed.
So, we might say that I took it up a notch this weekend. It was time. And the group rose to the occasion and rallied in their fatigue and overload to apply themselves fully, to learn, to help one another and to increase their capcaity physically, emotionally, and intellectually.
One thing that occurred to me this weekend is that in Ansuara Yoga we usually have a lot of fun. And while we are fun-loving and life affirming and encouraging and all of that- we are not a casual method. What is required to practice and to teach our method is intense and demanding. Don't let the laughter fool you, playful does not, in any way, imply a lack of work. So please, laugh all you want, but do not whine!
Thanks to everyone for such a full weekend. Thanks to Mandy for helping out on Saturday and thanks to Amanda for your support on Sunday.


Anne-Marie Bowery said...

Here are a couple great quotes on laughter by Nietzsche

"And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh."

"Perhaps I know best why it is man alone who laughs; he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter."

P.S. excellent picture of me by the way and I thought I was having a bad hair day...

kim said...

Even in my fatigue, I was infused with great new knowledge and that sense of, "oh, NOW I get it..." I'm so thankful that you care about our learning soooo much. And even though it may feel rough at the time, it's a beautiful thing to make us answer our own questions...Thank you!

Jill said...

Yeah, it was hard for me on many different levels, but it was the good kind of hard. It was a lesson in doing my best with the acceptance that my best will vary from day to day. I'm glad I asked the question I asked, and, Christina, the answer was "burned into my retina" by your excellent demonstration in the first few minutes of your reply! I guess I'm more of a visual learner than I had realized. Then, during the rest of the hour we spent on "the question", many things were clarified for me about the inner and outer spirals of the arms in various positions, my understanding of which, I admit, had been somewhat dyslexic. It's so engaging to work hard and to be challenged in this way. I felt really great today, not zapped or spent. Now I better get started on my homework!

Christina Sell said...

Thank for the comments. I learned a lot this weekend also.