Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Morning

Well, I got home from Driggs, Idaho last night. It was a pretty uneventful return trip home other than the spectacular scenery on the drive to the airport and from the airplane window. I really love mountains and wow- Sundari was telling me that that area is surrounded by 5 national parks. I am not sure that there is really a prettier place to be in term of mountain vistas. Amazing.

I really had a great time in Driggs. I woke up thinking about how cool it is that all across the country- well, world, I suppose- there are pockets of Anusara Yoga practitioners who get together and practice these teachings. Sometimes the pockets of practitioners are in the middle of a city, sometimes they are in a rural area, sometimes they are congregated in large groups and sometimes in small groups and so on. I mean the way it all looks can vary but when a group of people are committed to Anusara Yoga, there really is a certain feeling about it that is tangible. That was certainly the case in Driggs.

Recently Anne and I were talking about how one of the things we both love about group practices, classes and workshops is that when you get right down to it- its a bunch of people in a room doing yoga. (I know, its another blinding flash of the obvious here this morning with Christina Sell!) But what she and I were getting at is that aside from how it looks on twitter when people give their 130 character commentary, aside from all the Facebook photo albums we post, aside from how it gets written about on someone's blog, or discussed over a meal with friends and so forth- what it is at its essence is a very simple thing. It's a bunch of people who get together in a room to do yoga.

Sometimes I cringe when yoga feels like it is a "scene" rather than sadhana, when the flavor of a workshop is "career training" as opposed to life-enhancing and when new and aspiring teachers seem more focused on "achieving certification" than they are on serving their students. And believe me I can spin a yarn about all of those trends "in the business." And yet, even in the midst of it all, there we are, on a sticky mat, in a basically empty room with a bunch of people and our teacher doing yoga. The simplicity of it, its true elemental nature is always there even in the madness because all yoga ever has been and all it ever will really be is the practice.

We can dress it up, we can let our minds roam with it, we can bring all our mundane, selfish and consumer-driven motives to yoga and still, there is the ongoing reality of the practice itself. The unrelenting invitation to wholeness that comes when we move with the breath and assume the forms we call asanas Always, there is the task of facing ourselves, of aligning our bodies, of opening our hearts, of claiming our goodness and standing in and for our deepest, most abiding truths. That is all it ever has been and it is all it ever will be. It is both fire and nectar, this yoga.

I want to write at some point a little about yesterday's class but the point I have been making so far is on my mind because of how soft, simple and sweet the weekend in Driggs was for me. No scene. No crazy ambition in the classroom. No competition. Just a bunch of sincere, hardworking people in the room doing yoga and interested in learning how to go deeper. And as a teacher, that is nectar.

I woke up this morning feel refreshed, inspired and deeply satisfied from the weekend. Cate and Bridget are doing great things with their studio and the truth of practice is being served in a wonderful way there. Again, I must say that studios like Yoga Tejas are at the heart of the Anusara Yoga vision- sanctuaries of sanity for people to learn, study and grow together. It really doesn't get better than that.


YogaTamara said...

I too am feeling refreshed and inspired after spending the weekend (well, half the weekend) in studentship with you in Driggs. Those of us who were there from Boise now have a fresh abundance of nectar to bring back to our little, growing kula. Thank you Christina for sharing your honesty and your message of love!


Jeremiah Wallace said...

I wish UT was that: just a bunch of students in a room learning. Rather than that, I feel like I'm walking into a room and school is there to set up a maze that eventually leads me to the light switch that is right next to me when I walk in. I kinda feel like all the yoga marketing and the Facebook and the blahblah is like that maze. That we almost always have to create this maze just to get people walled in to find the light switch that was there the whole time. It's like the maze is maya (which seems SO REAL!!!) and the light switch is the unseen. But just turn it on, and the light illuminates everything... including the fact that it was all just a maze...

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