I have a busy day so this will be brief. Mostly I am still really jazzed from last night's class. Although last week I said my Thursday group practice is a weekly highlight, I have to say that Tuesday night is running a close second! We had a very nice sized group of experienced and willing students last night and so we did a strong back bending practice working on urdhva danurasana, drop backs and dropping from ustrasana to kapotasana prep. It went so well. Another few sessions and most of the people in the room will be doing kapotasana no problem. So that was fun.
Also my plan about cooling down the room after the 4:30 class, then turning off the AC after I start, not heating the room and leaving the door open worked well. It got plenty warm in the room so from what I could tell no one was "chilled" (ie: people were certainly sweating) but with the door open the clasutrophobic types and those who are already on the hot side could manage without much problem. I think it strikes a nice compromise, really. Plus as we move deeper into the advanced syllabus, too much sweat is really counter productive for a lot of reasons- if nothing else, making the clasps and grabs and wraps with tons of sweat is very hard!
Don't get me wrong, I do not mind the heat personally. I really don't. I think, given that I am a stiffer type, it really helps open me up. Certainly more quickly. And as we all know, given a choice between a room being little hot and little cool, for me I want the room a little hot. But in Anusara Yoga we actually want to use our engaged muscles (Muscle Energy) and the alignment principles to prepare the body to open and express the postures more internally, where heat provides more of an external "loosening up." Also, important to consider for the already loose person, is that the heat makes the likelihood of injury higher. And while the heat can rev a person up in a good way, it can also sap the energy and clarity needed to prepare through alignment, which takes considerable energy. But anyway, this is not a treatise on one way over and above the other. Really, we are simply preparing the body differently. And both can really be useful.
As always, the idea for us in Anusara Yoga is to know what does what and to what affect for us personally and then how to shift and respond optimally. That is the tantric vision- to get off the externals as our focus (them) and manage the internals (our self). The idea is that no-thing is in and of itself wrong or in and of itself right. What we are up to is a process of inquiry through direct experience, an invitation to relationship with all that is through a variety of experiences.
Wow, well, we are out there now. I worked on the theme of Grace being a current and the alignment principles being the way that we learn to navigate the current within ourselves and hopefully glimpse the truth that we are part of a much larger current called Grace. So much more than a list of right's and wrong's, do's and don'ts, these principles are the means by which we can engage a profoundly and decidedly immanent and spiritual process. How cool is that?
Also, just a reminder here that I am beginning and Immersion cycle here in Austin in June. The only other Immersion I have on the books this year is in Tucson with Darren. So if you live here locally, and you have been wanting to do an Immersion and have been waiting for the right time, now might be the time. We have a few spots still open and you can find out more about it through Desirae and www.breathandbodyyoga.com. I won't be doing another Austin-based Immersion until summer or fall 2010.
Also this weekend, please come to the workshop Craig and I are doing at Castle Hill. www.castlehillyoga.com I am teaching a class on Saturday and a class on Sunday and he is giving a talk on Saturday. It is really awesome subject matter and I do hope to have some people there!