Well, I woke up early and decided to get going writing this morning because I have a busy day. We have a fun group practice happening and then Kelly and I have a two-step lesson to take, which I am very excited about. Actually I am excited about both things. Different reasons.
Okay so last night was fun, fun,fun. First of all, I was so much less stressed out getting ready to go as I prepared myself mentally for teaching two classes as opposed to teaching three classes. Two classes is just a walk in the park compared to three in a row, which by Thursday night, is just too many.
It is a weird thing because I teach for three hours straight all of the time. That is not the hard part. The hard part is starting and stopping with three different groups. Those three different waves of momentum is really what is tiring. Keeping one group going that long is no problem. Anyway- I think it was the right thing for me to let go of the 7:30 class and also, now the lovely and talented Kim S. has that class so the students are still getting a good dose of Anusara Yoga.
So I worked with the theme of focus. Kelly and I were talking on the way up to Austin and I asked him what he would talk about if he was teaching. He replied that he is working a lot with learning to focus. To let go of things that distract him so that he can be focused on what he really wants. He has a very curious mind, you see, and he is always attracted to new endeavors, pursuits and studies. But the down side of that is that he ends up having to juggle so many interests that he do not really get good at one of them and in fact, he often ends up stressed out by so many things competing for his attention.
So anyway, this got me thinking about John's teaching of "The Dance between Yes and No". In order to create focus, we have to know what things we will say yes to and what things we will need to say no to. In Patanjali's yoga sutras, he talks about two aspects of practice. Abhyasa and vairagya. Abhyasa is the positive end, the "yes." It includes our longstanding efforts done constantly with devotion. It is all of those things we do. Vairagya, while it is often translated as "detachment" it is an active process of letting go. It is the "no"- the active practice of saying no and detaching from all those things that interfere with our focus, with our practice, with heart's aims.
For a period of time when I was learning Anusara Yoga, I said "no" to any other yoga method or teacher. SO even yoga can be a distraction within yoga! I found that I did not know enough about Anusara Yoga to be able to sift through various instructions and methodologies. I had to practice letting go of all of the fascinating tidbits of info that other teachers and methods knew and say yes to all that my teacher had to offer. After 3 years of exclusive study in Anusara Yoga with John, I now visit Iyengar Yoga Land occasionally and find it useful, clarifying and not confusing. But my progress would have been a lot slower had I not said "no" to other influences.
Anyway- we worked on forward. bending standing poses and arm balances at 4:30 and went in a backbending direction at 6:00. When I walked over to the little room for the 6:00 class Caroline at the desk said, "We have the capacity of that room set at 21 and there are 23 people in there now, should I say that your class is full?" I said, "Oh, no, let everyone in." So we ended up with 33 people in that little room. (Most of you have already heard my ideas on what makes a room full and how my thoughts on that differ from Yoga Yoga's thoughts on that so I will not say more.) Other than to say how cool I think it is when make space for one another. I mean, okay- its crowded, but really, if you can get over your needto have a lot of space (say no to personal preference) you can make room and support someone else in practicing yoga. (Say yes to support, community and good company.) Anyway- it was great fun even though it was crowded.
Mike, Susan, Anne, Tabatha, Kelly, Ari, Mungu, Jesse (back from the sickness!) and Meg all double-dipped. And remember how last week I said we had a new person in class? Well, she came back this week so that was fun. Nice to know she gave it a second chance!!
Okay- must go write now.