I had such a great day yesterday. The Focus on Form Class had 23 people there to explore the component parts of krouncasana and contemplate the meaning of gratitude. I looked it up in the dictionary and guess what? When you look down in the etymologies guess what word pops up? GRACE! Evidently, gratitude and grace are linked etymologically from a root that means to lift up in song, to praise. How cool is that?
So we worked with that in all the forward bends- creating a concave spine to lift up in praise and thanksgiving before bending forward. And in the basic standing forward bends like uttanasana, padangusthasana, and padan hastasana we worked on concave spine and then getting the shoulder blade on the back and lkkeping them there in the convex stage. We did a lot for the quads and perpared the virasana leg and we did a great foray into deep, one-legged hamstring stretches. I just love teaching that class. I feel an immeasurable amount of freedom walking through the door to a class knowing that people are there to focus on technique. But in addition to that the group is so deep and practiced that the bhava (Mood or feeling) of the group is in no way dry due to technology. It is when it is so good. When technique meets the heart, the work is just so good.
After class Kelly and I walked on the green belt, ate lunch and then joined the throngs of holiday shoppers yesterday. At 6 we went back to Castle Hill for class which was a fun time also. I was so pleased that 17 people showed up on the night before Thanksgiving. (Maybe it was all the threats I made when I interviewed people about "if we have class, will you come because I do not want to be here alone...") I did a potpourri flow practice, complete with music and so on and we had a really good time. Same theme, different poses- lift up in praise.
Kelly and I came home, made a great meal and watched Star Trek. Today we are going to go on a bike ride with Celeste and Shannon , plant some things in our yard and eat some food. I think we are roasting potatoes or something like that. I am not really a person who feels very obligated to traditional thanksgiving fare or festivities although I love the holiday. I just do not I think that overeating is a joyful or celebratory thing to do to myself, as that particular endeavor (Overeating to the point of discomfort) has not been such a good thing for me historically. After so many years of being trapped in the cycles of bulimia, I give thanks for the freedom from that cycle not by acting half of it out. I give thanks by pretty much eating on this day like I would on any other day. Just me, not trying to convert anyone here away from the culturally-endorsed gorge that is the Thanksgiving meal. Really, I am not. Just for me, self-destructive behavior is just not my idea of the best way to give thanks. Self-loving behavior is the best expression of gratitude that I know.
And this year, I do feel so grateful. For my friends, my family, my marriage, my work, the community of Anusara Yoga, my teachers, my students, my health, as well as both my easy and difficult experiences. Thanks to you all.
Oh and remember- I am leading a group practice on Sunday at the Love Yoga Coop from 3:00-5:30. Please come.