Well, I had a great weekend in Philadelphia at Dhyana Yoga Main Line with Justicia DeClue and her gang of students and teachers. Justicia and I met in my classes at the Grand Gathering in 2010, I think. Anyway, at some point after that event she invited me to come teach at her studio in Philly. I had a super fun time with her and her sweetheart and business partner, Shawn. They are both smart, funny, insightful, honest and direct, which always makes for lively conversation, a lot of laughter and a great visit in general. The students were all very welcoming, fun-loving and hard-working.
Justicia is in the very final stages of her Anusara Yoga certification process and remains committed to that path in the midst of all the recent turbulence, which I find quite admirable. Her studio was completely void of drama, upset and controversy which was also very impressive. As a strong and dedicated practitioner, Justicia seems very grounded in the yoga itself and is guiding her community along those lines as well. It was refreshing and inspiring to see people skillfully utilizing the Anusara Yoga methodology without being defined by it, defending it or abandoning it. Very healthy, actually.
We worked on a fairly comprehensive set of postures with lots of hip opening emphasis throughout. One of my passions these days has been a return back to clear lines in the form, and precision in execution. I think over the last ten years we experienced a shift in alignment emphasis away from outer form and toward the action-based approach to the asana and its been fun to return to really examining the shapes of the asanas, the lineage of the poses and the architecture of the postures as they relate to one another. I am exploring the muscles that one must use to assume any given shape as well as the opposing actions that we have to work to create and maintained balanced action within the form.
Also, its an interesting conversation to me these days to start to reclaim some of the “classic forms” from Light on Yoga like Virabhadrasana One with the palms pressed together overhead in prayer and the head back, or flat palms against the floor in trikonasana or setu bandha sarvangasana with the hips high, not just the remedial form so often done for the sake of softening the groins.(So we are clear, it’s not that I think we shouldn’t soften the groins, its that I think we can be looking to keep those actions in place in the full form with the hips high and the front thighs stretching more.) Of course, this work is not for everybody and remedial expression is awesome and so important to utilize for a variety of reasons. However, for intermediate student who wants to progress into more advanced postures there is some rich work to be done in this domain.
So, that’s what I am into in asana these days- outer shape and inner action and precise execution. I suppose I have always been into that, truth be told, but as always, I am refining my understanding and my articulation of my thoughts on the subject of asana. It is never dull, that is for sure.
I am really excited to be headed home. I have Easter Weekend unscheduled as far as teaching goes and so I am looking forward to the longest stretch home in Austin in about 6 months. Kelly added it up for me recently and told me I have been home like one month total out of the last 6. It really caught up with me by the end of this last stint of teaching and had it not been for the remarkably inspiring Spring Intensive I think I might have lost it a little, as every coping strategy was depleted by the time I got home from New Mexico a few weeks ago. The Intensive was so revitalizing for me and so enjoyable that it gave me back a lot of energy and renewed my enthusiasm for future events and projects. All that being said, I am looking forward to a more than a week at home to catch up on sleep, dive into my practices and finish planning my 2013 calendar which I am working on right now.
All things said and done, it is a busy time for me and yet I feel some energy for the work returning. Today I am heading down to San Marcos to meet with a guy to get some fans up in the studio. With our intensive coming in May I figure we are going to need some fans in there! (Hey, do you guys know we are half full for the intensive with Noah? Sign up now.)