Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday Morning

Well, I have a few moments to write this while my asana room warms up before I practice. I had a really fun day teaching yesterday. We had a slightly smaller crowd than usual in Focus on Form which was great because we go to use the chairs! It was so fun. We spent some time in pinca mayurasana variations and working on fine tuning the work of the shoulders int hat pose. We spend so much time integrating the shoulders in the early work of learning the method that so often people, many years down the road, are integrated but not extended and open in that pose. So we work lot with the action of keeping the arm bones back even as we open the form up considerably. It was fun.

Then we got into lots of upper back work with the chairs and finally we made a great foray into urdhva danurasana. I love prepping back bends like that- less grunt work, more intelligent, slow-paced skillful action which is so much less frazzling to the nervous system. Love it. Also, by not using lots of hard vinyasa and so forth to heat the body, by the times the back bends come, no one is tired. Just nicely supple and open. Good stuff.

Yoga is so funny. Right about the time we learn how hard we really have to work to get deep openings, we are actually ready to learn how to work "less hard" and how to work "more smart." Paradoxical in a way. And for many students it is a hard transition because the strong work is very rajasic and very enlivening in a way and can be VERY addictive. One has to grow more subtle and tune into a different kind of payoff than what sweat and hard work offers to enjoy this different approach. And like anything, some folks get it some don't.

What I have loved about Focus on Form is the maturity of the students who come to that class. It is not billed as an advanced class and we do not push the boundaries of the syllabus in anyway int hat class but that class is regularly attended by seasoned practitioners and teachers who want to work in this more introspective, deeper and detailed way. It is such a pleasure to teach that class. Details rarely mean it is easier!

I came home, ate lunch and caught up on some email- I have a serious back log from being gone and unplugged. (If you have not heard back from me, I AM TRYING!) I went grocery shopping, met up with Gia for a walk around the lake (finally it was sunny!) and then went back to the Caslte for the 6:00 class. This was another delightful class. We worked on sarvangasana, sarvangasana to setu bandhasana and parsva sarvangasana. This was another class that was a bit off the map. We must have spent 40 minutes of the class upside down which is somewhat unheard of in the average asana class around here.

One thing I am really committed to in that 6:00 class is taking apart the poses that don't get taught a lot. I really want some of the more advanced postures to be poses that we all know how to approach and work towards. I want people to look at Light on Yoga or to look at the Anusara Yoga syllabus poster and know how to do a lot of those poses. I want my students to not look at advanced poses as "those poses that other people do." I want those people who want to learn them to have a place to learn how. (And there are always other options for those people in class who think to themselves- "I can live a long happy life without learning those weird poses!")

So- I could say more about this but time for me to go put myself into some of those poses. Tuesday was deep back bends for me today is deep forward bends and long inversions. YIPPEE.


Barefootlotuss said...

"slow-paced skillful action which is so much less frazzling to the nervous system." This so works for me. . and I appreciate this approach that you excel in. Ahhhhh.

Anonymous said...

That is something I always really appreciated about your classes Christina- the breaking down of advanced poses so that those less advanced (like me!) have options for working with such poses and can see how they come together and are done.

Seeing that they are possible and being shown and taught the steps leading up to them is wonderful.

I wish that was easier to find in public yoga classes. I think it would dispel the anxiety and off-limits feeling that exists when it comes to the advanced, "crazy", "weird" poses.