Okay- so I am home from a fun weekend in Corpus Christi. I really had a great time with Michelle and some of her lovely students. We had a small group which ended up being really great because I was able to go into some alignment details that are harder to cover in bigger groups. Also I was able to really focus in and help some students who had some injuries and limitations that they were dealing with and who needed some special attention. I left feeling really great about the weekend and what I was able to offer.
Sometimes teaching small groups can be really tiring because often there is not a lot of group energy to create momentum for 10-15 hours of teaching over a whole weekend. But everyone who came to the workshop was a really great student and they were just a pleasure to teach. They listened to my instructions, they really did what I asked, they asked great questions and many folks had breakthroughs in their poses. And that is the fun of teaching. (If you are me.)
Breakthroughs in poses to me is not just "bagging a pose" for the first time. It is about feeling more deeply or understanding more clearly or even jsut recognizing soemting beautiful within yourself. For instance, just really getting a handle on rooting to rise- really feeling it and its affects- is a profound breakthrough. It may not mean that you have a sexy picture of yourself in an advanced pose to post on your blog, it may just mean that your brought your awareness more fully into your practice. Or one woman who was there over the week has been in pain for 4 1/2 years and we worked with a lot of muscular energy all Friday night. She came in Sautrday morning to class and said, 'I woke up in less pain that I have had for 4 years this morning." That is a breakthrough.
Also- it is a testimony to muscular energy and its therapeutic affects. So often someone is in pain we think- "take it easy, be gentle" etc. But the truth is almost all injuries respond to more work (of the right kind and in the right way) not less. This woman was such a good student that I hardly had to give her the new action more than two or three times before she made it her own and she was able to do things without pain that she has been holding herself back from for 4 years. Plus she got injured from a strong hands-on adjustment (Another issue but you cannot cannot cannot give a strong adjustment to someone who is not engaged muscularly because it will very likely hurt them! Someone who is super stiff, who is muscular by type or who knows how to engage and is doing it, you can really crank on hard. But an "organic person" will many times suffer from a strong adjustment. ) Anyway- it was pretty remarkable to me that this woman would trust me since she had actually been hurt by a well-meaning yoga teacher in the past.
Michelle spent the month of May in New York at Omega doing a Jivamukti Teacher Training with the Jivamukti founders, David Life and Sharon Gannon. She had great stories about them, about her experience and about the training so I loved hearing about all of that. They are kind of modern-day yoga icons and so it was fun to get some of the inside scoop on what they are up to. (Warning: Do not go to one of their trainings if you want to keep eating meat, they are very big proponents of ahimsa as it relates to the food we eat. Michelle said they showed lots of videos regarding "The truth about meat" and so on. I remember reading their book along time ago and it said, "Not everyone should be a vegetarian- only caring, sensitive people." Or something like that!)
Not that I am up for a rant on vegetarianism this morning. I really am not.
Okay- I got a note from my editor that I have to send in some things for the appendices and so that is my next project. Michelle took some pictures and so when I get them I will post them.
Oh and on a mundane, householder note- our air conditioning broke and they cannot come until tomorrow so it is perhaps a day for me to go to the movies. We actually have two units and the one for the bedroom is still running so I will could just camp out in the back room in the heat of the day. Or maybe tube the river and contemplate life and other esoteric matters from an inner tube...