Sunday, October 5, 2008

Notes from Day 3

So we had another good day at the Immersion.

I began the day with short talk about the 3 A's of Ansuara Yoga and how they also apply to three basic personality types that practice yoga. In Anusara Yoga we have 3 primary components that exist in each pose and every class. They are called the 3 A's - Attitude, Alignment and Action. Attitude is "Why" we practice. The deep mood we bring to practice, the energy that fuels our efforts and gives meaning to our endeavor. Alignment is the knowledge of 'how" to practice. We may want to align with Grace but if we do not how grace functions and how we might best function in relationship to Grace then we are going to be without some very important information. Action is, as the name implies, the doing of the thing in a skillful, balanced way.

From my own experience as a yoga teacher for over 10 years, I have realized that there are also 3 basic types of people who practice yoga. I call them the poet/mystics, the engineers and the athletes. The poet/mystics are the ones who want to chant more than do chataranga, who love it when you read Rumi or Hafiz poetry in class and are content to do just about anything you ask so long as there is a lot of pranayama, meditation and savasana included.

The engineers are the ones who also ask questions about 'The right way" and "exactly what muscles we are using" and "what is the angle of the leg precisely" and "where does my head go in this pose" and "what is the degree of torque I apply in my twist" and so forth. They do not mind starting and stopping, they love demos, anatomy lessons and they always write down the sequences and the links from the pose to pose.

The athletes could care less about Rumi, hate to watch demos and just want to do the yoga and wish we would stop talking already because it is interrupting their flow. They like to move and will figure out how later- maybe. Tell an athlete that if they do not watch the demo they might get hurt they will tell you, "I can handle the pain, let's get on with it." They are energetic, vital and disciplined types.

Darren taught the morning asana class which was a rousing introduction to Inner and Outer Spiral. He set the class up with a very inspiring talk about transformation and wanting change and wanting progress through asana. That is one thing I love about hanging out with Darren is that his love for asana and for the asana practice- not as a way to just stay the same, but as a way to transform and grow- is so palpable. It is very inspiring to be around.

In class Darren worked a lot with the human pez dispenser teaching tool and taught a lot of the class with the block between people's legs for feedback and increasing awareness.

After lunch we started with some questions and Terry asked if the 3 types of people who practice yoga might relate to the elements. Which led me into an impromptu discussion of the three gunas, the three doshas and how they relate to the the three A's, the nature of the Absolute and the 3 personality types I outlined. Then I led a forward bending, hip opening class to continue the Inner and Outer Spiral work. People worked so hard and so diligently throughout the day. It was so great to see people really working tangibly with the 3 A's and really nudging up against their limits.

Bronwin came and sang to the group during their much needed savasana. All in all a great day.

Darren, Bronwin and I met my friend James for dinner which was great. James is a great Anusara Yoga teacher who lives in Tucson and was a student and friend of mine for years in Prescott. I love him a lot and it was great to hang out a bit.

On the way home from that I got totally lost. My cell phone was dead, I had no street address of Darren's house, no phone number for anyone, there are very few pay phones any more so finding a pay phone was hard. When I finally did, the number for Darren had a full voice mail and so that was futile. I was at a Barrio market making the call when the police showed up and I realized the place had actually been broken into and so that was a little disconcerting in the midst of it all. Anyway it took me 3 hours to get home and it really sucked. As I was driving around in circles and getting increasingly frustrated and tired, I got more and more upset and then had a total hysterical breakdown. After I stopped sobbing I actually did feel a lot better so maybe I just needed a good, cleansing cry. Who knows.

Anyway- Kelly helped me contact Darren and then Bronwin came and picked me up and then we all had a cup of tea and went to bed. I slept like a rock.

All right then- back at it. Day 4 today.


Lisa said...

Hello dear Teacher,
Do you plan to be back in town on Tuesday?

Christina Sell said...

not back until wednesday for class at 7th street.

Lisa said...

Thanks! Have fun...

Pamela said...

Okay, you NEED to get a GARMIN! Really you do. It will change your life ~ especially as much as you travel. For $200 you're set. I'll show you mine. You can save any location, it talks to you, it will give you the closest locations for anything you might imagine ~ food, ATM's, wireless internet. You must get one ... have I said that. You would never be driving around lost again and when you are, someone is talking to you. I personally like the British accent girl!

I'm sorry you were lost!

Wish I was out there too! Is that Catherine in the pix???


Christina Sell said...

yes, Catherine is reprenting the Austin gang. She also gave me some very funny feedback that I am really a lot more patient and nice as my "on the road self". Funny, huh?

whatnot said...

(special to pam)

/passive-aggressive garmin "boyfriend" voice

Pamela said...

Oh yeah, I SORT of remember the "really a lot more patient and nice" personality.

But then the "demanding ballet teacher with the yardstick that hits you in the knees crossed with the Catholic nun from private school who makes you kneel on a uncooked rice" showed up.

And we were called to a HIGHER purpose!


Leanne said...

Ok- I can attest to the "on the road personality" as well. Sorry honey- sad but true. But Pam and I kind of like that ballet teacher...

I am glad to hear that you get lost and cry too. I did the same in Japan this week trying to find Mark Shveima's class in Osaka. I made it there 2 minutes before it was to start... choking back tears and chanting "om namah shivaya". I got there in such a panicked state...and then found out Mark wasn't there. He was lost too!!! I ended up teaching the first half of the class until he showed up! Can't wait to blog that one...
Miss you!
L. :>)

josie said...

Thank you for this little tidbit on the three A's, lovely! How did you compare the doshas to these characters? Is the engineer pitta and the athlete kapha, or vice versa?? Just curious, cuz as a pitta/kapha I do bring both qualities to my practice, and must work more intently on the meditator! :) :) I look forward to joining you for Phase 2 in December, all the way from Toronto, Canada!! Looking forward to studying with you, Namaste, Josie :)