Wow, it has been a really busy few days. Tuesday night I taught my classes at both Castle Hill and at Breath and Body Yoga. I laughed with Kelly on the way home that it was a "night of fruit images."
At 4:30 I talked about how earlier in the day I was eating this incredibly good apple and the crazy thing about the apple was that the closer I got toward the core of the apple, the sweeter it tasted. (Kind of like the closer we get to the core of who we are, the sweeter it gets.. muscle energy, drawing into the sweetness.. back bends... like that.)
At 6:30 I told a story my new friend Tedd told me about something Baron Baptiste said in one of his trainings. He told the group, "When you squeeze an orange, juice comes out. What I want to know is what is going to come out when I squeeze you." I laughed with the group, confessing that when I get squeezed, usually sweet juice is not the first thing to come out. Eventually, yes, I can get there, but for sure, it is rarely my first response. So we worked to "squeeze the juice" with muscle energy and took that into eka pada urdhva danurasana where keeing the midline in the legs is so vital. So like that.
Yesterday I woke up, did my morning practices and headed to Castle Hill for Focus on Form at 9:30. I worked a lot with the idea of softening and surrendering and melting the heart. And we worked with shoulder principles and back bends. I started class talking about something that John says in almost every workshop I ever been in with him. Almost every time he sits down to teach he says along the lines of, "Soften. Surrender your limited concepts of yourself and open to something bigger." So we worked with that before engaging. Fun stuff. Very sweet.
I did a short inversion practice after class, took a walk around Town Lake and then spent the afternoon preparing my lessons for the Online Mentoring Group and our Local Mentoring Group. Then I went up to Castle Hill again for the 6:oo class. We worked a bit less in flow than we often do and I taught a lot of twists. Okay well, frankly we stretched the hammies A LOT in preparation for parivritta trikonasana and went into parivirtta parsvakonasana and then eka pada koundinyasana. We worked with some basic principles of twisting- anchor the foundation, extend the spine and twist from the back body. So- I talked about cultivating dedication and faith in the challenging twists and turns of life. (Anchored and strong with dedication, extend with faith, and revolve around that, not the periphery. Like that.)
As you may be able to tell, heart-based themes are big on my mind today. We talked about them A LOT last night in the Mentor Group and the first lesson online is "De-Mystifying Heart-based Themes." I was such a heart-based them hold-out for so many years in teaching Anusara Yoga. I was the alignment junkie- give me details all day long and I was happy; give me a lot "open your heart" and I would inwardly roll my eyes and tune it out. Seriously. Not kidding. I was such a hold-out that it is a bit laughable that I spend so much of my time teaching other people how to create them and implement them!
But as the years have gone by I find myself in awe of the power of teaching with a theme. Sure, it can inspire the student but what teaching with a theme does for me is quite profound. I made a joke abut this last night in class but is actually quite true. I was kind of preaching about my theme (as I have a tendency to do when I get going- I mean really, give an outspoken, opinionated, highly-verbal pitta a captive audience and what do you expect to happen?!)
Anyway, I told the group that I really did not mean to preach and that the truth is that since I teach Anusara Yoga and I get to come into class every day and for 75 (or 90 minutes or many times 3-hours) and tell everybody what I, myself, need to hear. I said, "I think that is why God gave me this job. I couldn't be trusted to have a job that didn't require me to be so actively engaged with these ideas. I need to be kept very close to these teachings lest I forget them!" Obviously, it's not the whole story, but I do have to say that I consider it my very good fortune to have a job that asks me to consider what it means to live a life of alignment at all levels. Really, does it get better than that? (Okay, gang, remind me of this moment of clarity when I fantasizing that some other job would be easier and more fun...)