Friday, May 8, 2009

Tapas and a 40th Birthday Sweatfest

I got home on Wednesday afternoon in time to take a short bike ride with Kelly, get cleaned up and make it to Breath and Body for the 4:30 class. I used tapas as a theme and talked about heat. There is this idea in the Upanishads, I believe, that talks about how yogic practice is similar to rubbing two pieces of wood together in such a way that the fire that was hidden in the woods is revealed. For each of us, there is a spark of divinity that is hidden or latent inside of us, much in the way fire is latent inside a piece of wood. When given the right kind of friction, heat, intensity- tapas- that spark can be revealed. So we worked with strong standing poses, arm balances and some basic backbends using muscular energy principles to create tapas.

More on the subject of heat another time.

Yesterday, as many of you know was my 40th birthday and it was really a great day. I taught a vinyasa class at 8:15 and decided in the morning traffic to explore the options of riding a bike rather than driving to teach that class. 30 minutes on a bike would be fun. 30 minutes in a car is not. Susan has already been researching my commute-route for me so that is something to look forward to.

After class I went to the kombuchery to see Kathryn's set-up there, which was pretty amazing. Canyon Spring kombucha is really quite something. After that, I met a friend for coffee, then hooked up with Anne for yoga at Castle Hill. I went to Juan's Mysore class which I must say is just fantastic. He is very knowledgeable and helpful and patient. Anne went to Gillian's Iyengar Yoga class and then we went to Whole Foods and Lululemon. We then picked up her dogs and brought them to visit Moshie, who really needs dog play dates as he still seems to be missing his girlfriend a lot. Then we made it up to Breath and Body for the Birthday Party/Practice.

What a fun night it was. we had 33 people in the room, it was a sweatfest of the highest order and what I loved the most was that there were folks who have been studying with me since I moved here in the room practicing with people I met for the first time last night. It was a great blending of practice communities and a fantastic coming together. We did a good steady flow to get to urdhva danurasana, dwi pada viparita dandasana and eka pada rajakapotasana. Such fun. Lots of people told me they had breakthroughs last night. I really believe that group practice is one of the best ways to take your practice to a new level. Having that much support, combined focus, time, help and intensity yields such amazing experiences. It really does.

After the practice we ate snacks, drank kombucha and champagne and lots of water and then enjoyed good merriment together. I was so very generously gifted and honored and the day was quite special indeed. I can't imagine a better way to enter into my 5th decade of life than surrounded by long time and new students, friends, and colleagues in the spirit of yoga and celebration. SO FUN!

Here are some pics:

Anne, before the sweating.

Baby Dancer
William. His 5th yoga class ever. So everything is going to seem easy from here on out.

Brienne, rockin' it.
Jeremiah, enjoying the ride.
And then some more frolicking.
First time eka pada raja kapotasana!
Another first!
Catherine- Austin's back bending queen...
Me, showing how my new bamboo outfit grew two sizes and was hanging off me like a rag! However, I still maintain that it is very comfortable and snazzy looking!
Me, lighting the cake candles
Me, again.My cake being delivered to me by my husband who was shirtless, which I thought was pretty fantastic.The cake, the singing, the glee...Yes, I got all 40 candles in one breath- pranayama, baby!
Thanks to everyone far and wide who helped make it a great day!


Jeremiah Wallace said...

It was absolutely loverly. Make sure to put all the pics up on Facebook so I can grab more from there. There's some good ones.

whatnot said...

forgot to tell you, with Jeremiah and Catherine's help, this was the first time I reached my toes in EPRK too! =)

Christina Sell said...

ooohhhh... how exciting.... I love that.