So I will teach in Friendswood this weekend. (www.sundanceyoga.com) I taught there this fall and it was a lot of fun so I am excited about my return. Valerie is a great teacher, a fabulous host and so I am looking forward to connecting with her again.
We got Mom and Dad to the airport yesterday and they must be in Italy by now. They had a long day- fly to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Italy and then fly into Rome. So they have a few days in Rome and then a three-week long tour. Wow. Indy, had a rough afternoon- he is afraid of thunder and there was plenty of scary sounds all afternoon and early evening and his "mom" was not there to comfort him. He seems to have made it through, although he is looking a little forlorn.
I taught a private in the afternoon which was fun and then my usual classes, which went really well. It was kind of neat because the class were each a bit smaller than usual (perhaps the weather- perhaps people could not move their arms after birthday sun salutations!) and people asked some great questions. In both classes we were able to sort out some important details about the different poses and our alignment without getting too bogged down in the details. That is always a tricky formula but when there is the right balance of info and action in a class, it is very satisfying teaching to me.
Anyway- at a certain point, to continue safely in yoga and to advance in our practice, we really have to sort some things out. For instance, if we really want to practice the advanced back bends we must be able to have a reliably, pain-freee urdhva danurasana. Really, it is non-negotiable. If that pose hurts and we can't work the actions to bring it out of pain, then we should not go farther down the syllabus- it is just asking for trouble! Now that trouble might not come today or tomorrow, but eventually, we can can count on it at some point- trouble will find us. Like John always says, you can only act against Nature for so long. And ignoring pain in asana is out of alignment with Nature.
You know this is what motivated me to write my fist book. I finally, through John's help, learned how to listen and respond to the messages of pain that my body gave me-- listening is only one thing, you have to stop if it hurts and re-align and learn the nitty gritty details of how to proceed, at what speed, at what depth, in what way without pain and then REALLY DO IT every time, without fail, for a long time--and I was watching people around me in various situations just ignore their pain, push past it and so on. The whole thing behind the first book I wrote was about how we could honor our body's limits skillfully and in so doing, make a pact of peace with ourselves, rather than continue to act violently towards ourselves by ignoring our pain and so on.
Anyway- I think we made some progress along those lines in classes last night and that kind of teaching is just so much more interesting and over the long term beneficial than simply "Working people out in a flow". But that is another rant for another time!
Have a great day. Time to walk the dogs, practice and then hit the road.