Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday in Driggs

One of the things I love about m y work is that it is always different. Well, on one level it is always the same- down dog, triangle pose, the UPA's, etc. But really, the setting that I go to explore these things is always different. Last week I was in Baja with a bunch of people who have done yoga but most of whom had limited Anusara Yoga experience. This weekend I am teaching very seasoned practitioners at an Anusara Yoga studio. I actually like both.

I seem to spend a lot of my teaching time introducing the method to people and breaking it down into small understandable chunks. What is so awesome about that is that it has helped me become super clear, super direct and less ambiguous about what I mean by the things I say.

But it is also a lot of fun for me to go teach to a group of people who already have the Anusara Yoga groundwork laid by great teachers like Cate and Bridget and I get to just kind of preach to the choir all week and work on more refined actions and go deeper with the basics. There were 30 people in the room last night- and none of them needed to be reminded to keep their back shin strong in eka pada rajakapotasana! So that is testimony to the great ongoing instruction they are getting as well as their trust in what they are being told and their dedication. And as a teacher it makes me look harder for things to help with.

So it was a fun class- we worked with what I called "an overview of the principles" not a set UPA lesson as such. Really hip opening is a dynamic combination of strong shin, firm inner thighs, balanced action with Inner and outer spiral, work to open the front groins and the inner things and some twisting throughout helps the magic. So that is what we did. We didn't push the syllabus at all and what was so cool was people coming up to me delighted that they got deeper in familiar poses than they ever have. Sometimes it is fun to do a new pose and sometimes it is so delightful to just make a deeper connection to those poses you see all the time.

We are working with the theme of "fire and nectar" this weekend. How yoga practice needs to have both components. We need those practices and times that create intensity, that burn away the old and make space for the new and also we need those practices and experiences that soothe, that nourish, that calm and function like nectar.

Last nights theme was about "building the fire" and assembling the component parts with care, attention, intention and so forth. This morning is "Stoking the fire" with some standing poses, backbends and arm balances. Nothing crazy is on my agenda- just a good steady and strong walk through the level one syllabus.

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