Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Morning

Okay- well, yesterday's afternoon classes were unusually small. I think there was a record low attendance in the 4:30 Castle Hill class and at the 6:30 Group Practice but what was cool is that the 5 folks who came at 4:30 all were in good spirits and knew each other and so we had a really fun time. Christina was in "joking casual mode" rather than "professional presentation mode." We took a nice leisurely stroll through some deep hip opening work to lotus and to full simhasana. Particularly fun for me was that Sabia came because she does not come regularly to that class. (Backstory: Many months ago she came to workshop I taught at Breath and Body where we worked on lotus pose and in that session I helped her into what I think for her was a fairly deep ardha padmasana.) So yesterday in class I looked at her ardha padmasana and it was so good that I went over and helped her into full lotus. Here she is in her full lotus glory as if it was no big deal whatsoever!

The 4:30 hour is a hard hour I think in the summer. The heat is full outside and energy tends to be low so I have been focusing a lot on inversions and on deeper hip opening work in there. Even in the back bending classes as of late I have altered my approach a bit so as to approach them without creating as much heat on the front end. But the inversions are really key because they give so much energy back to the practioner. And the energy of inversion is a deepr, truer kind of resotred energy rather than the "backbending buzz" kind of energy. (Which,as we know, I love very much as well!)

Much in the same way we took a more mellow, slow approach to the back bends in the group practice at Breath and Body. People did some very good hand standing work, great standing poses and we worked on a handful of arm balances before eka pada rajakapotasana and dwi pada viparita dandasana. I find it so fun to explore different pathways to the poses and to experience the poses in relationship to a variety of ways we might prepare our bodies for them. Never boring. And many folks told me after class that they enjoyed the slower approach because they were so tired when we started that it was nice to ease in and not fight the heat-induced fatigue.

You may be aware that it is hot here. But not like the 80 degrees people thought was hot in Denver. (And yes, I know when you live in the mountains of Colorado, that is, relatively speaking, hot.) But Texas is a unique kind of heat. It is hot. Damn hot. 105 degrees with humidity and full sunshine. And it is here early this summer. It was here in June, not August. Most people I talk to are a bit freaked out about it, in fact. And even though, according to the Gita, "the wise yogi is not affected by hot or cold..." well, this yogi is not yet that wise. It is hot. Anyhooo.... (small rant completed...moving on now.)

Today, after I get done with a few chores, I am heading out to the Woodlands to spend the afternoon and evening there with John Friend. I will be back in time for the Teacher Training we have tomorrow. You know, it is not too late to sign up for that. In fact, I cannot urge you strongly enough to attend if you at all can because observation and demonstration is where almost every Anusara-inspired or Anusara certification candidate is lacking on their first video and where almost every teacher I ever observe teach could improve and refine their teaching. And that is exactly where we will be focusing our efforts. The idea is that it is by honing our observation skills that we really begin to teach yoga rather than lead yoga because we are responding directly to what is in front of us. To me the ability to observe and respond skillfully is really at the heart of effective teaching. I am in love with the topic and I am passionate about developing my skills and helpoing others with theirs. (12-5 S/S at YogaYoga South. Call Laura at YogaYoga to sign up up if you can fit it in.) And we have super small group so you will get lots of help and lots of chances to practice.

Also keep in mind the festivities at The Love Yoga Coop this weekend. Don't miss it- unless of course you are going to my Teacher Training!

More later this weekend. Off to The Woodlands.

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