Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Wednesday at Pura Vida is a day when people can take trips and eco-tours in the nearby area. It means no regularly scheduled classes and so for me in meant sleeping in, a long pranayama and meditation practice, a leisurely cup of tea, a novel by the pool and then some editing after lunch. I actually finished with this stage of my work on the manuscript and sent it off to my editor for her to work on it. Like i just told my Dad, I began to lose track of what the words meant and so I figured it was someone else's turn. At any rate, it is out of my hands for a while.

We had a nice day yesterday. Jordan began the day talking about some of the iconography of the Shiva Nataraj which was interesting. I never get tired of talking about that image and the many embedded lessons therein. I did some work on my computer, a long back bend practice and then had lunch followed by some reading and then the afternoon session with Martin and my class.

Martin covered the shoulders which was great fun. He had some great imagery and explanations regarding the structure and function of the shoulder and the rotator cuff. Great stuff which once again makes clear the majesty and intelligence of the principles we use all the time. I followed his class with a shoulder asana class where we workshop-ed the 5 shoulder principles in a variety of poses but with special devotion to bhujangasana. Lots of deepening and improvement in the room on that one.

One thing that is so fun is being with a group of people who chose to come on vacation to do yoga and yoga anatomy. I mean, it is such a great gathering of sincere, smart and science-minded practitioners. Many of you know how often I joke about the three kinds of people who are drawn to Anusara Yoga- the mystics, the engineers and the athletes?

To review for those of you new to the conversation- the mystics LOVE heart-based themes. The mystics do not really care what you do in an asana class so long as you chant, read poetry and have long savasanas. These people have rudraksha beads around their neck or wrist, a crystal in their pocket and spare copy of The Essential Rumi in their napsack.

Then there are the engineers. these are the people who like to know at what exact angle you bend your bottom leg in vira 2 and to with what degree of torque do you apply inner spiral to the back leg. These people are more than happy to watch your demo and do not want to attempt the pose without a thorough set of instructions. These people carry protractors, compasses and a copy of Light on Yoga.

There are also the athletes. Athletes usually hate demonstrations, they will figure out "how" as they go. They are not keen on partner work wither as it ruins their flow. They like to move, sweat and feel. These people carry electrolyte replacement drinks, a spare t-shirt and lots of Tiger Balm.

Okay I am kidding. But my point is that there are those of us interested more in Attitude (Mystics) and those of interested more in alignment (engineer) and those of interested more in Action (athletes). Generally we are usually a composite of types and tendencies. We often have a strong affinity for one domain, a tolerance for the second and sometimes an aversion for the third. (like those people who love to move but love and inspirational message and hate to watch demos.) But I digress.

So- a week like this tends to attract the engineer-type and I think that is great fun. I have such a strong love for technique that is grand to just be in that aspect of the work. In no way are we ever losing sight of the Grander Vision. I actually think the study of anatomy the way Martin teaches reinforces the mystical so well. That's the thing. Like John Friend said in Los Angeles, 'We are a scientific art, not an artistic science." So like that.

It has really been a great week so far. Nothing like I expected or planned but a great outcome nonetheless. All right, well, the sun is setting and I feel a tad chilled sitting in the shade so I will close this for now. More tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

may the blessing be with you.........................................

ericaeve said...

Ok, I have been turning this over in my mind for a while and have decided that these three categories must line up with the three the three doshas. Of course my choices are entirely open to discussion and debate. It seems to me that the Mystics are the Kapha's, the engineers are the the Pitta's and the Athletes are the Vatas. I had a hard time at first, thinking that the mystics would be Vata because of their intellectual approach, but decided their love of savasana made them more Kapha....