Sunday, October 16, 2011

I am on my way home from a great weekend in Louisville, Kentucky. I taught a workshop at Yoga East. Yoga East is a non-profit yoga school with three locations in Louisville. Established in 1974, Yoga East has been dedicated to making the teachings of yoga available to the public for many years. Laura Spaulding, the president of Yoga East, and my host for the weekend is a pretty awesome person. She is the only authorized Ashtanga Vinyasa teacher in in Kentucky and has a long standing practice and many years of teaching experience. She is always so interesting to talk to since she is also a devotee of Gurumayi Chidvalasanada. Between stories of her studies with Pattabhi Jois and his family and her experiences in Siddha Yoga, as well as her wit and wisdom and no- BS attitude, I always leave her company feeling inspired and uplifted.

Her no- nonsense approach to life and yoga definitely filters into the students at Yoga East. They were so well-trained and respectful that I always have a really awesome time teaching them and exploring the practices with them. One thing that is cultivated by practices like Ashtanga Vinyasa and Bikram Yoga, for instance, where the same poses are repeated over and over, is a deep understanding and appreciation for the power of repetition and the discipline required to practice the poses you do not like. See, in those methods, if there is a pose you don't like, you can never avoid it. It is there, every day, staring you in the face till you figure out how to master it or at least make a certain peace with it.

So for sure, those of us who do not practice set postural sequences, still have poses we practice that we do not like and making yourself do something you don't like "by choice" (and yes, its your choice to practice a set sequence but that is not the level I am talking about here,) is a different kind of thing and also very important to cultivate. But the students at Yoga East needed very few pep talks about staying with something till it improved. They are already established in that worldview, which was fantastic.

We used a unique workshop format this weekend- we had a teachers class on Friday afternoon, an all-levels class on Friday evening and two classes on Saturday. Almost all the students came to the whole weekend which also made the teaching feel very connected and united for me, What is so unique about the schedule is that we didn't schedule a class on Sunday so everyone had a full weekend of yoga and still has Sunday to have some down time. Even me! I get to have a Sunday at home, which is a wonderful thing for me.

I plan to get some sleep, do a practice, work on an article I am writing and then have a date with Kelly. On Tuesday I head out to Tucson for a week and then go straight to Athens. Georgia for a week and so I am gearing up for a big stint away from home.

Okay, more soon.

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