So after a long day of travel, I landed in Spokane and my friend Karen picked me up and brought me to her place in Idaho. I taught a class on Friday afternoon and then we went to Terri and Steve's very lovely house for dinner and a birthday celebration for Karen. She turned 52 on Friday which I did not know until I got here. I was pretty tired by the time we got home- I did not sleep a lot on Thursday and then the travel, the teaching and then the 2-hour time difference all kind of added up to make me one tired pup.
I got a good night's sleep last night and in the mornings the time difference works in my favor. I could sleep in and still have plenty of time for pranayama, japa and meditation. So that was great. We had good sessions this mornings. Karen has great students who pay attention and really know how to work with details. This does not surpirse me because Karen is a great teacher and a great practitioner and so she has taught her people well. They are easy to teach. And this is not always the case!
I am working with themes from The Kularnava Tantra this weekend. That is the text that we get the word Ansuara from. Last year Dr. Phillips and I worked together translating it and so I am working from my notes from our work. We talked about studentship and preparation on Friday night's class, inspired by the way the text begins. Shiva is on top of Mount Kailasa and Shakti climbs to the top of the mountain to ask her question. I love this image because she does not yell to the top of the mountain, "Hey Shiva, will you come down here, please. I got a questions for you..." She goes to where he is, to where the teachings are. So even when any of us make it to yoga class or to do a practice at home, on some level we have climbed a mountain of our own. We have made a sacrifice to be in class or to practice. We have had to arrange our life to make it happen and so we, like Shakti, have "climbed the mountain" to ask our question. It is good to acknowledge that sometimes. This path is not easy. A lot is required.
After Shakti asks for the teachings Shiva tells her that many people are not ready for the truth. They are too unstable, they are at the mercy of their sense organs, their resolve to practice is wavering. He tells her that she is one who stands in the truth and so she is one who is worthy of the teachings of the Kula Path. So we worked with tattva-shithau this morning-- Being one who stands in the truth. I was a super picky task master on hand placement and activating the forearms in surya namaskar. We works on some standing poses and then we did some great work on cobra, setu bandhasana and ustrasana to help lift the chest and open the heart. (Of truth, that is.)
The story goes on to talk about how enjoyment need not be at cross purposes with the path of yoga. (Bhogo-yogayate) and so we did a hanumanasana class about drawing in and expanding the heart of enjoyment. I took the moans and groans for enjoyment. (At least of a certain kind... you all know how it is...)
Tomorrow we have more intermediate back bends in the morning and a teachers class in the afternoon. I am looking forward to both.
On my break today I did a lovely inversion and restorative practice and it really occurred to me- "I just love this yoga stuff. I mean, wow. ..it REALLY works!"