I started the day on a conference call with Carlos Pomeda and our home study group. It was a great discussion as they always are. He is so knowledgeable and inspiring. And patient. Such a great quality.We reviewed the Upanishads and he gave an introduction to the Gita and the Bhakti Sutras which is our next topic for review. We are going through a lot of material in a general way right now in the course and then we will go deeper into the source material as time goes by. It is kind of an interesting thing to just read the texts with the overarching intention just to be "general familiarity".
Then Kelly and I walked the dogs and now I am going to do some writing. I just got a package delivered to me from my friend Darren Rhodes. He sent me some posters as a gift which is really great. So today I think I will drive over to Kinko's to get the poster laminated so I can hang it up at the studio. He also sent me a great poster of him doing viparita chakrasana, which is quite impressive.
Last night's classes were fun. Lots of folks were gone with Spring Break but we had a pretty good turnout anyway. I worked with the same sutra (1.21) and with the dedication and devotion. The 6:00 class worked on headstand drop overs which was really great. Lots of people were able to do it on their own and so that was exciting. At the beginning of class I made a comment about how I have been reviewing a lot of people's classes for certification these days and how I have not passed several videos because of the way the students arm bones were in chataranga. So I had everyone re-do it until they were "up to standard" so that I was asking of my students what I ask teachers-in-training to ask of their students. (That is what I love about being on the review committee- you get pushed to keep working on your own teaching!)
I realized that what I was asking for of the students is a really big difference in Anusara Yoga than in some teacher training programs. We actually evaluate the teacher based on how well the students are doing the actions. So a teacher can have all the right words and all the knowledge but if they cannot get the student to actually do it, then we do not consider the teacher up to par. That is pretty intense, if you think about it.
It also points to a distinction in our vision of what is even going on in a yoga class. We are not one of those methods that you can keep "doing it your way" and just "having your own practice" in one of our classes. We actually believe that we know what is right for the shoulders in chataranga for instance and that there are appropriate ways to modify and inappropriate ways to modify. (Maybe "effective" and "less effective" would be more PC.)
Anyway- I do realize this difference in teaching methodologies can be really shocking to a student used to the more "its all good" approach to yoga that is so common in the world. I do recognize that it can feel confrontational and uncomfortable at first. I absolutely know that it requires thinking and focus and all these things that people tell em they do not want to do in yoga,which is another rant entirely. But it is worth it. It really is. I have seen time again that when people actually do the principles according to our method AMAZING things happen. I am a believer. Hook, line and sinker. This stuff works. (So that is why we are picky and why we talk so much. We actually think all the stuff we are saying matters!)
Anyway- people made the changes I asked for and improved and generally kicked ass in that 6:00 class last night. It was a lot of fun.