Sunday, February 17, 2008

Advanced Intensive Day Three

So-I am a bit tired out tonight. It is a good kind of tired after a most excellent day. We had a long class this morning- it was scheduled to go to 12 but John went until like 1:15. We did a lot of backbends and some fun pinca maryasana variations and handstand things. It was pretty fun. We practiced mandalasana which went very well for me. So mandalasana is when you go from headstand over to dwi pada viparita dandasana. Then keeping your head on the floor, you walk your feet around in a big circle around yourself, thus becoming a mandala. Then after you complete the circling in each direction you go back up to headstand from dwi pada. Which I managed to do by myself which I had only glimpsed for the first time yesterday. So that was fun.

Back when I used to do a lot of backpacking there was this thing called "peak bagging". People would try to do as many peaks as they could and when you climb to the top of a moutain you might say that you "bagged the peak". You might bag peaks over a certain elevation or within a certain geographic region and so on. So the outdoor purists always looked down on peak baggers because they were not in it for the real expereince that the outdoors had to offer, they were just checking something off a list.

So whenever I am able to do a pose for the first time I always think think about this. There is a kind of initial thrill of "getting a pose".

There is also a great sense of empowerment that comes from doing something for the first time. On a very real level, the unknown becomes the known and there is a tremendous learning that one can experience in that process. For isn't that all we are doing with yoga? Encountering those unknown aspects of ourselves and making them known until we know all of ourselves as most truly are?

Or we can just be bagging poses. I see this attitude a lot as well. In fact, that was a lot of the intital thrill of Anusara Yoga for me for many years. Yes, a lot of great heart-oriented things were happening but I was enthralled because I was suddenly able to do all kinds of things I could never do before. Within the first two years of my Ansuara Yoga studies my practice went to a whole new level. It was crazy, really. Then after a while, the learning curve slowed down and there were other things to get interested in and to become aware of. Like, now that I can do all these poses that seemed so elusive for so long, now what? Oh right! Even though you can do scorpion pose or make the clasp in some twist, there is still self observation, repetitious practice of the basics and hours and hours of ongoing refinement.

So- today I did bag another pose which is fun. But tomorrow, that thrill is over and I will have to to add the new pose to the list of what needs work. Funny, isn't it? One should never get bored if they are doing yoga.

One of the funnest thing about the weekend was seeing some people who I have known for a long time. As much as I love practicing asana with John and as inspiring as I find him and as entertaining as he can be, what stood out for me this yrear was the realization that some of us have been doing this together for a long time. My friends Martin and Jordan Kirk who are both ceritifed teachers and who are from Scottsdale mentioned that they have been married nine years. I realized that I knew them before they got married.

My friend Scott Lewiski, a certified teacher from California, was talking about how most people in the room have never had The Inner Harmony Experience. Lots of us used to spend several weeks up at this retreat center in Utah every summer called Inner Harmony. Back then we complained when 50 people were there that it was crowded!

Like I said, some history has started to accumulate and that is kind of neat thing to be in the middle of. I also got to meet some folks I worked with in the certification process who I did not know personally but whose videos I reviewed. So that was fun to meet them in person.

Other great things were that everyone loved my hair. (Thanks, Ana, the best hair person of all time.) So that was kind of a silly reoccuring thing this weekend. But many people knew me with long hair and bangs and so this is different. And several people told me I seemed a lot happier than I used to and you know, it is true. The changes we put into place over the last few years have been great for me in so many ways and it was really neat to get that kind of feedback.

So, the Master Immersion begins tomorrow. That should be fun. Lots of people are staying and a bunch of new people will join in the fun. Yahoo.

Note From Kelly: I am posting this for Christina a day late. She is having internet issues. (not good ones) We are working a system out in case the problems continue. She is after all a slave to the blog...

and now so am I.....


Meg said...

Hello a day late! It is hard for a commenter as faithful as myself to wait a day so I am glad that you have the remote tech support of Kelly. I love Kelly.
It was actually nice to read your thought on the Advanced Intensive and that real gem of the community a day after beginning the masters immersion. There is a big contrast that is all the more apparent now. Not in a bad way at all, really in a way that fills my heart. For that exact reason you were describing. It is one thing to touch something for the first time, and then another thing entirely to embark upon the relationship of refinement . In both the asana and in the relationships that we have now been in for quite some time. Very Cool.

I totally love you! Meg

Leanne said...

Thank you Kelly!
Lauren, Shelley , Chris, Brent and I sat around after practice tonight and had a nice fire and homemade dal. We talked about your blog and we love having that connection to you. You would have nestled right into the corner of that gray couch like a cat!
Please give Carol a big hug when you see her. She is there for all of us up here!

Love Leanne :>)

Christina Sell said...

Love thinking of you guys up there in BC reading the blog. Carol asked me to save her a spot with us tomorrow which is great that she is ready to move away from the back wall. Yahoo.

I will give her a squeeze from you all.