Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Visiting Teachers

The ashtanga practice group that meets does not have a regular teacher. We are basically all just meeting together and helping each other out with what we can (which isn't a whole lot, but better than nothing!). Lately, it has felt like the group has been in a slump... low attendance, everyone is tired and busy with holidays, etc. Curtis and I were talking in early January about how we really need more teachers to come through or else we are nervous the group will just peter out. Well, to our surprise, Stefanie received an email from a teacher in Portland looking for a place to practice while visiting. What luck! Stefanie emailed them back and asked if Jason would be willing to teach, and he agreed. Jason runs the ashtanga yoga program in Portland Oregon out of another studio (somewhat similar to how our practice group functions). We had great turnout while he was here, and I think we all learned a lot. His big emphasis was back bends. All of us are lacking in back bends. He completely changed how I approach urdva dhanurasana (my sanskrit is horrible, please excuse any misspellings). I have a tendancy of rolling my shoulders in, and he helped me get the feeling of rotating the other way and opening my chest. His has great technique for talking students into the correct alignment with backbends. I'm going to show Curtis what he showed me; maybe it will help some of his students. Having Jason here to teach for a few days was inspirational and refreshing for my practice. I feel a little renewed, and I'm looking forward to spring :)

Speaking of teachers, Manju Jois has been teaching in Encinitas for a few months, but we have been unable to make it down there to see him... Well it is finally happening this weekend! Curtis and I are going to drive down there on Friday morning and stay until Saturday night. Unfortunately, we can only do Saturday's mysore practice due to our work schedules, but it's better than nothing! We are hoping to go see Paramhansa Yogananda's Meditation Center for Self Realization (I think that's what it's called) on Friday afternoon as well. We are so stoked, and I promise I will blog about it when we get back... :) and hopefully my arms aren't broken from adjustments haha

It's been awhile...

Well hello! It's been awhile since I have blogged. To be honest, it has been from lack of enthusiasm not so much out of lack of time... I've also lacked some inspiration... Ok enough of what is "lacking" :)

So what's been going on? Winter blues. I get so down in the dumps and lazy in the winter. Something about the cold and dark makes me want to eat all the time and curl up into a ball (and NOT practice).

Curtis and Stefanie needed to take a step back from the practice group, so we are only meeting M, W, and F right now. On top of that, attendance has been dwindling. I never realized how much I rely on the collective energy to get through my practice. While I have missed seeing other bright, shiny faces there, the days that I have made it to my mat in the almost-empty and silent studio have been some of my best practices for myself. Not that I accomplished any crazy pose, but it was silent and still and there is something nice about that. In fact, I had a great experience in stillness on Sunday. I was bound and determined to do my home practice, but I was exhausted after the workshop on Saturday. I started out my practice with the opening chant, did 3 surya namaskara A's and B's, I took the three lotuses, and I did the closing chant. After my savasana, I had the most quiet and peaceful few moments. They were delectable. I savored each little moment knowing it would pass, and was ok with that. I existed in that moment seeing it for what it was. Or at least that is the best way I can describe it.