I had a full day of yoga fun yesterday. I woke up, did my sitting practices, ate breakfast and taught Focus on Form at 9:30. We had a strong class but it was deep and technical. I worked a lot with instructions about how to create stability- specifically, how to tone the backs of the legs in standing poses and how to stabilize the shins in standing postures. We took that work into twists and made it to ardha matsyendrasana. IF we had more time we would have gotten up after that and looked at parivirtta trinkonasana but, well., I think the point was made. That class is a fun class to teach. It is a mix of levels in terms of bendability but it is a very mature group of practitioners in terms of awareness and refinement. People come to that class wanting to "Focus on Form" which makes for a fun time for me. Instead of having to "sell people alignment" as is the case in some situations, this group of people comes in the door wanting it. So that certainly makes my job easy and enjoyable.
It is much the same way at 6:00. that is such a bad-ass group of people. So hard working and so dedicated. We have a very regular group of folks who attend that class now and I feel like we are really building something right now which is amazing. Last night we worked with the theme of creating unity and connection and friendship with ourselves and we work in the forward bend and twist genre of poses culminating the work with a quick foray into krouncasana, for Jeremiah. (its his goal pose this year so I am doing my part to help out!)
And if that sounds good to you, you can purchase the audio of class from www.shop.christinasellyoga.com.
After Focus on Form I met Bekah for Matt's Flow class at Kula Yoga. That was fun. I hadn't seen Matt in like a year since we both stopped teaching at Yoga Yoga so that was great. His class is as supportive, nurturing, and challenging (the squats and lunges were really something!) as ever and you get all that wrapped up with his compassionate, dry sense of humor. Not a bad deal!
I had lunch at Wheatsville, answered some email and then met Gioconda and Chris Rossbach at Bodhi for a practice together. That was fun. We worked in a similar vein to the Fourth of July Practice which as a lot of fun. We got into drop backs, the 4 eka pada rajakpaotasanas and natrajasanas. I was still sore from Sunday so I figured the best thing to do was do it all again! Good times.
So after a snack at the Food For Life Cafe, I taught the 6:00 class. (See above.) Kelly and I came home from that, ate some food, posted the podcast on the store and went to bed. It was a pretty full day, doing what I love most- practicing yoga with friends and teaching yoga to great people.
I must say on a closing note that I was filled with delight at the end of class yesterday when I looked in the prop closet and the blankets were all stacked neatly and in good alignment and I hadn't even mentioned a thing about it. I felt like some kind of proud mama or something. Silly, in a way but I swear, its really those kinds of things that tell me the yoga is happening.
It's like I mentioned in class last night. The hallmark of advanced practice, in my opinion, is not how deeply we bend or how strong we are although those things have relevance in the asana practice, obviously. The hallmark of advanced practice, to me, is in how deeply aware of ourselves and our actions we become. Advanced practice has more to do with the number of details of alignment we can manage in any given pose, the depth of our heart that we express and the care we give ourselves and the kindness and honesty we extend to others.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love to work on poses. I really do. Come on, I am somewhat obsessed with it at times, truth be told. (As evidenced by all the time and pictures and commentary, etc.) But really, I think advanced practice is more about how the poses are working on us. How they are cultivating our attention and how we are placing that attention on what matters most in our lives. And at the end of the day, its not getting my feet to my head in scorpion or grabbing my knees in Bhujangasana 2 (although Brigette, I am working on it!) but it is a matter of how deeply I connected to myself and how deeply was I able to connect with someone else and share, even for a moment, the world of the heart and spirit with another human being.
Oh, another cool thing is a project a Facebook Friend of mine is doing for teenage girls called The Kali Club. It is designed to be a resource for teenage girls to have positive role models and they interviewed me recently. Here is the interview http://www.thekaliclub.com/.