Wow- so I went to Omar's flow class before the Immersion at Breath and Body Yoga yesterday and that was really fun. He has a great teaching presence, he really conveys the poses from his own experience and dedication and he manages a lovely balance of asking his class to work hard while being nurturing and encouraging. It was a great class.
I started the Immersion with a pop quiz that covered some of the material we addressed on Friday night. I wanted to get a sense of how much information people gleaned from the introductory class. Here is an interesting thing about taking an Immersion. As a student you have to have your ears peeled the whole time because so much information is coming your way. Not only are you doing the asana, you are getting philosophy lessons directly and indirectly, you are getting anatomy lessons, you are processing your own experience, you are part of a group dynamic and you are also if you are a teacher, watching the teaching method at work in yourself and others. So many aspects of learning are going on. It is a tall order and there is a lot to digest.
After the quiz and review, I asked the group for questions and what came out was a list of poses in which people were in pain or major discomfort. We spent the rest of the afternoon trouble-shooting the asanas on the list. I have never began an Immersion like that but I found it an interesting way to download a lot of information about the poses and to set the stage for teaching the principles more directly. And in general, we found ways in the different poses to get more relief and to move toward greater physical freedom in the postures.
Today I plan to finish the list of "troublesome poses" but more in the scope of a long practice-based session. The thing is that it is not such a hard thing to provide a group with a yoga workout and to intersperse the teachings in the midst of the strong work. That is not hard at all. But an Immersion practice is a different thing- especially in the beginning. The Immersion practices are a time not just to practice strong asana, but to learn the system that informs the practice and to take the time to sort out that theory in our practice so that we gain clarity and insight.