Okay well, what a night last night. Anne and I met for a short visit before driving up to Breath and Body for my first class on their schedule. The class was so well attended by Desirae's regular students and by some some of our gang as well ( Anne, Susan, Mandy, Zoe, Lisa...thanks for the support guys. Really, it means a lot to me!) I focused on strong work with the breath and shoulder principles to head toward back bends. Desirae's is obviously such a good teacher because her students are well trained, strong, good at following directions, receptive and respectful. It was a joy to teach this class and I am excited about how these principles will come to life over time with the students at Breath and Body.
(A brief teacher training note, given that I am taking over a class that has been taught in the Baptiste style, I did not do tons of start and stop instructions with lots of analytical demo's. I even left the chataranga lesson out of class one! EEK! EGADS! But reay, time enough for that and one more class with arm bones pitching forward probably isn't going to kill anyone. I will address it but I worked on deepening and refining cobra instead. Next time, chataranga.)
I taught basic actions in the midst of a flow of familiar poses and made adjustments to form without getting bogged down in lingo, in tons of small detail and so forth. A group of people who love to move, sweat and so forth in yoga are not going to be so receptive if the introduction to our method comes at the expense of what it is that they are used to. Having said that- if I was teaching Anusara Yoga for the first time to a bunch of Iyengar Yogi's I would provide a lot of details, some more demonstrations, more refinements and work on the same pose more than once or twice and so forth. Just me. Not the only way to do it, by any means. What is cool is that how we do all that does not make the class Anusara Yoga or not. We are Anusara Yoga when we have (say it with me) 1.) a tantric philosophy of intrinsic goodness 2.) the UPA's and 3.) a emphasis on community. And there are endless way to effectively incorporate those three tenets and bring them to life in our yoga classes. Amen, Hare Krishna and Hallelujah. Sermon over.)
Anyway, it was a blast. I felt so warmly welcomed. I then made my way to Catherin's for her 31st birthday party with some of her unbelievably sassy, funny and wise women friends. Now that was a real treat. I have not laughed so hard for so long. Really, I was in need of something like that. The dinner and company is worthy of a post all its own but it is time now for other things. But really, happy birthday Catherine and thanks for including me in an incredible gathering. It really means a lot to me.