Monday, February 23, 2009

Back from Corpus Christi

Okay- so I got back from Corpus late last night and now I am unpacking, doing laundry and taking a few moments to just hang out in my lovely house that I moved to in January but have only slept in 6 or 7 nights! It has been an incredible month for me, though. Looking back to all that has happened in exactly one month is pretty amazing. We finished the Austin Immersion Series, I took a great trip to India, finished the Tucson Immersion Phase Three and then taught a weekend with Craig Williams in Corpus for the Immersion Series/Teacher Training Program there. Wow. Double Wow. A month of planes, trains, automobiles, great sites, amazing, people and truly uplifting experiences interiorly and exteriorly. Some of peak teaching moments came over the last month and some of the deepest considerations of my path as well.

I am thinking a lot about dharma these days. Dharma is a sanskrit word that translates sometimes to mean "duty" and also means, among other things, "that which sustains and upholds us". In Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali BKS Iyengar talks about dharma as something that is for those of us who have fallen in the past, those of us who are currently falling and for those of us who will fall in the future." So, we can see, dharma is for everyone. The idea is that if we really know what our dharma is, what our deepest duty to ourselves and to the world is, then that knowledge is a beacon of light, it is a support structure, it is a guide and reference point for every decision we make.

Lance Armstrong actually talks about this relative to his training regime for the Tour De France. He says that when he is in training for that event then every decision, every piece of food he eats or does not eat, every activity he engages in or doesn't engage in is reviewed through the lens of "Will it help me win the Tour?" If it will take him against that aim he does not do it. Simple. Not complex at all. So I think about that a lot these days and I have been reflecting on how, for myself, being anchored in, committed to and on fire about what my dharma is has really supported me and guided me through some pretty difficult times this last year.

The Russian mystical teacher, G.I. Gurdjeiff had this idea that "man is legion". That within each of us there are legions of "I's"- like multiple selves who each want something different. Many times when we do not know what to do it is because many of those "I's want something that is not our dharma. When we know what our dharma is then we have a guide of support for which "I" gets to be in charge. So like that. Not always easy, but certainly hopeful.

We talked a lot about such things over the weekend in our History of Yoga Philosophy Crash Course with Craig Williams. What a download that was. We spent Friday night talking about The Importance of scriptural study. Saturday morning we talked about the Upanishads, Satrudayt afternoon the Bhagavad Gita, Sunday morning the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and Sunday afternoon we made a foray into Vedanta. IN and amidst all of that, we wove in some asana practice and many of the participants had acupuncture and Ayurveda consulting with Craig. It was jam packed. And while the lectures were full of information and juicy nuggets to chew on we truly just barely scratched the surface. That is kind of how it is, I think with yoga, the more you know, the more you realize there is to know and how little you actually know. I love that about it though. It is never boring.

Here are a few pics from the weekend. Mostly featured is Craig's handstand demo and lesson. He was talkng a lot of smack about how easy kicking up to the wall for a handstand is so we made him put his money where his mouth is. But he did tell me that he thought it would be cool to learn how to do the pose in the middle of the room. So the pictures below are his demo and also his first lesson about shoulder principles and the midline.

Ardha Chandra chapasana
me, teaching...

in transition...
Craig's Handstand Demo
Taking off his "professor" clothes...

setting up...
in the pose...
"See...what's the big deal?"
Craig's Handstand Lesson
"So, dude, you gotta get soft right here..."
"...and make room here..."
" really,soft..."
"Get ready..."
..."on three...1...2...3.."
Tiffany, adds her two cents...
Christina demos... (Shows off... fine line...)
Beth, hanging around upside down...
Supposedly there are some more pics lurking out there somewhere but those are the one's Michelle sent me. She was, as always, a great host and the students there continually delight me with there enthusiasm, humility and receptivity. It was a great weekend on every level.


TechChic said...

Lots of interesting material here. So glad you're back home in Austin & looking forward to your classes --- 2 today for me, I hope!!!


A Journey For Life said...

Thank you Christina for coming to Corpus and bringing Craig. He is truly an amazing, inspiring person full of knowledge, that goes way beyond what my mind can wrap around. The last 6 months since becoming a new mom, I have felt like I have been off-roading and after the workshop, I am feeling more inspired and am trying to start back on my path. Thanks again to you and Craig, and also for letting me drop into part of the immersion!