Well, we had another fun day of backbends and arm balances with Desiree yesterday. After class we went to Whole Foods for lunch and then to Lululemon and then to REI and then home and then to the airport. It was a fun and mellow way to end a very full weekend.
One of the things I really like about having guest teachers is that students get a chance to see how one method can be presented in a lot of different ways. There is an interesting dance in teaching Anusara Yoga between "what is the method" and "what is the particular teacher's teaching style".
Over the years I have always found it very helpful to show the teachers that I am training in the method that difference and to train students to be discerning in mine or in anyone else's class between what is Anusara Yoga and what is a teacher's take on Anusara Yoga or a teacher's personal teaching style. Hopefully the one method is being presented with consistency as well as difference. That is the aim.
That aim for the classroom mirrors our larger philosophy, in fact. (There is One Spirit that takes on a multiplicity of forms in order to know itself fully and express itself joyfully. ) We really celebrate differences and want the method to find a variety of expression so long as it does so within a certain set of boundaries. Des, Andrew and I had a really interesting talk about how every method will always have traditionalists/purists and will always have creative, mad scientist/artists who push the boundaries and keep us expanding the form and that each type is important to health and longevity of the system. If we only have traditionalists we run the risk of being dogmatic, zealous, stagnant. If we only have mad scientists we run the risk of becoming diluted or undefined or so diverse as to have a lack of unity. Really, we need both.
I think there may also be a third type that I would call a synthesizer who pulls from other methods and experiences and diciplines but brings it back to the method. (Like how my association with vinyasa methods this year has influenced my style a lot lately and how my studies within Iyengar Yoga influence my presentatin and understanding of our method. But I digress.)
Also, my friend Darren Rhodes and I talk a lot about the dance between "Perspectives" and "Principles" and how important it is when we teach (and when we take classes from any teacher) to be clear within ourselves and to be clear in our presentation (or in receiving teaching from someone else) what the difference is. This is also knowing the difference between Anusara Yoga philosophy and our personal philosophy. And staying clear on these distinctions is work that is never dull.
It was a really great weekend. I enjoyed seeing how everyone responded so delightedly to Desiree and her teachings and perspectives and how respectfully, skillfully and authentically she presented her story, her experiences and her knowledge. She is really such an inspiring person, practitioner and teacher.
Okay then, on with the day. Lots to do.