Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I just updated my Facebook status to read- "Christina Sell had a not-so-easy-at-times, full spectrum kind-of-day that is ending on a decidedly positive note." So that is how it was today. I started with Focus on Form and we had a strong class with lots of "yoga geek" moments and technicalities explored. I made it only partially though my sequence this morning but I think we covered some really interesting ground in there today.

I left the class pondering whether I was a bit too intense on certain points in the class. I get so passionate about the possibilities that yoga offers us. Also, in the whole world of travelling to teach and presenting to large groups for 6 days at a time I get very fired up about things and then I teach a public class and I am in the same mode and well, I admit, it can be a lot for the person who is just there for a Wednesday morning yoga class!

But the thing is for me, its the one day a week I get to contribute to the local conversation and so I am totally on fire about it. I am not (nor have I ever been) one bit casual about teaching yoga and I am even less casual about it now than I ever have been. So then having just one day a week where I get to see people in class, well, hmm.... probably, I am not going to get more mellow, now that I think about it. And when you notice me mellow and not giving a shit about what your are doing in my class and not demanding a lot, then you will know I am about to stop teaching!

I got on a whole theme today about vertical. As I prepped my class this morning (Which is why I did not do a blog entry earlier) I looked up the word vertical and went into its etymology and got to vertex, to verse, and finally found my way to warp- as in the vertical threads of a weaving. As in warp and woof or weft. Now how exciting is that? (Many of you right now are thinking...what is your point here, exactly? I can tell. Because in both classes when I taught this, I was met right about here with blank stares of (wtf) is she talking about? Seriously, though, how exciting is it that the vertical axis, the mid-line, the vertical lift we create in every pose is related- at least linguistically and perhaps distantly but still related nonetheless-to the vertical threads of a weaving?

Well, it gets even more exciting if you think about how the word, tantra means (among many other meanings) to weave or to loom. These philosophies were interested (among other things) in how the vertical axis (THE SPIRIT) is woven with the horizontal axis (MATTER) into the very fabric of reality. Oh my god, I was in yoga-geek heaven at this point in my class preparations.

So- we worked with gathering the threads of the horizontal axis into the vertical axis with muscle energy to create "unified strength" in the fabric of each pose and in the fabric of ourselves. Anyway- lots of good hard work and some preaching.

I used the same theme at 6:00 and took the work into press handstands, bakasana, sirsasana 2 to bakasana, parsva bakasana and sirsasana 2 to oarsva bakasana. Everyone did so well and worked so hard. Again, I must say the caliber of student in that Wednesday night class is really high. So inspiring.

All right- well, we came home for a dinner of yummy Ayurvedic food and I have been working on the blog, answering email and answering phone calls ever since. Kelly goes on a trip tomorrow and I take him to the airport bright and early so I should call it a night. I am tired. It was a full-spectrum day filled with intense emotional moments, some deep soul searching, some belly laughs, some interpersonal conflict and resolution, some planning, studying and all in all, just lots of being right in the middle of the not-always-so-easy experience of life and relationships.

Time now for bed.


Barefootlotuss said...

I really liked your comments about the 'warp and woof" and correlating these with tantric perspectives and the idea that the horizontal is "humanity", which is a word with a lot of heart. I've been musing myself about a similar theme and so was delighted that it seemed to be "in the air." Not too geaky for me. The enthusiasm is infectious.

LisaE said...

I'm count the days until you bring your "geeky,intense yoga self" to Florida.

Leslie Salmon said...

Love the connection of vertical to yoga/tantra/loom. Pretty amazing! Curious what your thought was when you began your exploration of vertical. What caused you to think "I'll teach 'vertical' today"? and then to begin your search.

Christina Sell said...

I thought midline. What is the midline? The middle. That yielded NOTHING very usable.

So then I thought- The midline is vertical axis of the body. Ah, let's see what we get with vertical. And from there it got more interesting.

Thanks for the comments.

Liz B. said...

As I was reading this blog entry, as soon as I read "warp" (!!!!) I joined you in yogageekdom. I was praying that the next paragraph would mention tantra, and how it means to weave the threads and the warp and the woof and all that...oh man, it really is so frickin' cool!

I love how powerful, jewel-like, AND what guideposts on the path our WORDS are!!! Matrika Shakti...

I recall vividly John saying that the vertical axis of the body is Shiva, and the horizontal axis is Shakti. You know, more or less.

I'm glad to be part of your weave.