We started a new schedule at YogaYoga last night. Like I shared in the 4:30 class, I love new schedules, new months, new years and so forth as somewhat arbitrary, yet oftentimes helpful, demarcations of time and as opportunities for renewal. What was the 4:30 flow class is now a hatha class which I think is good news for the 6:00 advanced class. It will help double dippers prepare for advanced work without getting them as tired as the flow class did. I highly recommend this as an option for folks who can, in any way, make both classes.
So-at 4:30, we did a lot of work in the hips to prepare for what turned out to be awesome Vira 2 poses. That pose is such a different pose as a peak pose than as a warm up-type pose. So much better executed at the end of class than in the beginning. It was great fun to meet some new folks and to start a new class. I really hope that people will commit to that class with some regularity. Tabatha was there and she has a tweaked elbow but missed being in class so much she came to see everyone and I told her that if she stayed I wouldn't do any thing weight bearing in the arms for the class. So we did a whole class with not one downward facing dog. Crazy, huh?
We were reduced in numbers at the Advanced class and the room was really damn hot. We worked on arm balances and standing poses. I think it went pretty well, although people were really battling the heat and the sweat! We haven't really done a whole arm balancing class in a long time and so that was kind of a fun thing to return to. I used the theme of "Naked Raw and Ready"- inspired by Charlie Lewellin taking off his shirt (and later Jess G!) and a story about Patrica Walden.
When we were at Feathered Pipe, she and John Schumacher were talking about their experiences with BKS Iyengar over the last 30 years. At one point Patricia said, "He is a very tough teacher. And you must be a tough student to work with him. You must check your ego at the door. You must come naked, raw and ready." While we all laughed at that at the time I have thought about it a lot and how it applies to studentship, to practice, and to teaching.
Naked to me is about being without the "clothing" of pretense and defense. To be naked is to be vulnerable to your teacher, to your self, to the flow of grace in any given moment. In that vulnerability we are raw, we are beginners, we are not some polished, finished product. And in the vulnerable open raw state, we are ready to learn. So we worked with that theme last night at 6:00. It was great because the group that was there was almost entirely "old-timers." Really, after a few years practicing regularly with each other we should be pretty comfortable with falling in front of each other, getting adjustments and corrections and laughing at our strengths and weaknesses together- being naked. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves- "You know, I know these people and they know me and the strength of what we have together is not so fragile that it will be destroyed by me falling over in a pose in front of them." I know it kind of sounds silly but defending ourselves can be such a habit that we forget it is not always needed!
Kelly, Anne, Susan, Terry, Mike, Susan, Tabitha, Pammy and Jesse all double dipped. Yippee.
Tonight is the first night of a series at Seventh Street. I think it will be a fun and intimate setting. I hope you guys can make it. And you do not have to sign up for the whole series to participate.