Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday Morning

Well, we really covered some ground in the Immersion this weekend. When we closed class on Sunday I commented that it seemed like we had really come along way together since Friday night. We went very deep into the UPA's and everyone worked really hard to grasp the concepts as well as the terminology that expresses the concepts and actions. At several points I kept wondering, "Wow, is this really a simple method after all?"

The truth is it is and it isn't. There is an elegant simplicity to it and yet the sophistication of our method is quite profound. We can use basic actions to very quickly get people into deeper and more aligned postures. We can do this on Day One. But to really understand the underlying structure and the intricate relationships that exist between form, function, philosophy and the primary and secondary flows takes some time. I know I could not have answered the Immersion review questions after my first year of Anusara Studies. Not at all. Granted I had not been through an Immersion yet because we did not have them then, but even still, 10 months into Anusara practice- no matter how much other yoga you have been doing- is still not a long time.

But we really went deeply into things all weekend long and still had time for some rollicking good fun in asana. We ended the weekend with a foray into back bends and drop backs which went really well. I found myself quite inspired by the developing community of Anusara Yoga practitioners and aspiring teachers here in Austin. Anusara Yoga is growing so nicely here but what is really cool to consider is how much room for growth still exists. Those people training now and over the last few years are really pioneers for the method here. The very real growth and development of Anusara Yoga in Austin, Texas is held in the hands of all these hard working teachers.

I was talking with Mandy Eubanks the other day who told me that she is teaching 12 classes a week. I thought to myself, "Wow- Mandy is teaching 12 classes each week... I wonder how many classes Mark, Hannah, Jeremiah, Kim Schaefer, Jess G, Brigitte, Charlie Lewellin, and all the other wonderful anusara teachers are teaching..." I got to thinking about just how many Anusara Yoga or Anusara-Inspired classes are actually being taught in one week here in this town. Probably A LOT.- (anyone want to take on the task of finding out? A little web research in your spare time?) Then stretch out from there and think about how many teachers are not "officially affiliated" but are incorporating the principles in their teaching. Anyway, it is probably safe to say, there is a growing Anusara Yoga presence here in Austin, Texas.

And the cool thing about being in the grassroots stages of growth right now is that we can grow this community in whatever spirit we like. We can consciously choose to be welcoming, to be inclusive, to be supportive and to work against those tendencies of jealously, competition, scarcity and exclusivity. I have been thinking a lot lately about how John said these principles are Universal. He meant that one level they are applied to every pose and in that case, they are Universal.

But also, he said, they are FOR everyone. You do not need official Anusara Yoga affiliation to take your thighs "in, back and apart" for instance. He said he didn't name the UPA's "Anusara Yoga Principles of Alignment" for a reason. He told our group that he named them "Universal Principles of Alignment" because he wanted everyone to use them and to benefit from them.

So much in the same way I would like Anusara Yoga to grow here. If we look at John's example he has profoundly respectful, collegial relationships with his peers from other methods and traditions. He shares his wisdom freely and learns from his colleagues and I cannot think of a better thing for us to emulate as a community. Let other people fight over right and wrongs of methods and get wrapped up the world of preferences, dislikes and so forth. I personally would rather shine with the light of these teachings and help the people that I can to do the same.


mark said...


Jeremiah Wallace said...

In case your curious, 5 classes a week for me. Busy boy.

Christina Sell said...

Okay so- 4 for me, 5 for J-man, 12 for mandy-ji...anyone else want to add to the tally?

mandy eubanks said...

Just so people don't get confused........(someone has already asked me today where else i teach). I have 7 public classes, I teach anywhere from 5-8 privates a week, a womens yoga group, workshops, special series, Yoga Yoga teacher training, retreats, etc. So i average 12-17 classes a week depending on the week. Also I just want to mention that there have been a handful of Anusara yoga and inspired classes weekly here in Austin for the entire 5 years that I've lived here, taught by Charly Pivert, Liz B, Amanda Daley, Charlie L, Karuna, Jess G, Elizabeth C......Its amazing how much it has grown since 2007. I can't wait to see where it goes in the next few years. And i second mark's Amen.

Christina Sell said...

Right- that's exactly my point- so many amazing teachers here spreading the good word. I seriously think it would be an interesting tally.

Dale said...

The UPAs are what I think of as "yoga" - well, the asana part :-). The UPAs do not tell us what a pose looks like, they just tell us how to make the pose yoga. And in fact, it doesn't really matter what the pose is - a regular tame asana, or a wild freaky thing, or lifting weights or loosing an arrow from a bow. All of these body things are most beautifully done using the UPAs. Yeah, I know it's weird, but I've tried using the UPAs in weightlifting, & they are magnificent. And good for bike riding and getting settled into that desk chair...

I've been thinking this weekend about the complexity of our mental understanding of the UPAs vs the amazing simplicity of the actions when we internalize the mental concepts & learn to do these movement in/with the body. It is amazing how simple Inner Sprial is to do (not easy - simple :-) vs how complex it is mentally.

Somehow we fearlessly confront the complexity & move through it to simplicity. But I think that the full richness of the UPAs is only experienced by simultaneously holding the complexity of the mental model and the simplicity of the body movement.

And all of this while making the pose an offering.

Truly this is a yoking of the mind, body, and spirit to one intention, creating a unity of the whole person in the practice.

Very, very beautiful :-).

Christina Sell said...

as is your post! Love it.