Saturday, January 31, 2009
I didn't blog everyday this month, but I am managing to post 31 blogs for 31 days. It feels good. I think it made the month fly by with such quickness, and the cold seem somehow less cold.
I don't have very many words right now. I taught this morning at 10am, and then gave the first part of a Foundational Workshop at Yoga Square to 29 students.
I am like Ekam, one, what...oh! yeah! inhale.
I like giving these workshops it makes me feel like I am calling some of my beloved teachers energies into the room with me. Tomorrow is the 1st day of a whole new month, February. I think I might change the blog title...28 days of love, or Costa Rica coming, or maybe No Sleep 'til April (this is when I find out what's next.)
What is immediately next, walk the dogs, sleep, practice, and teach.
Love. Practice. Breathe.
Friday, January 30, 2009
I was going to write about my yoga date last night, but other than spending time with Doug there was nothing positive about the experience, so I am going stay silent...except this....yoga teachers should not chew gum while teaching, nor should they be rude to you at the front desk. Ok that's enough about that.
I am really excited about the Foundations workshop tomorrow, and the Shiva workshop in Jersey at the end of the month. I went walking with Linn, and some dogs yesterday in the snowy, icy Wissahickon. She reminded me that as we walked the Taj together I did put it out there that I wanted to move my yoga teaching in a certain direction, and now it is totally there. I also slipped on some ice, and felt free to be me.
I am going to hibernate the rest of the day, and be silent, and find some space to feel where I want to turn next.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Here is the commentary on the phrase "common people."
"During the period of sadhana you may find it useless to mix with people who have lower aspirations. At that stage, the less you involve yourself with others the more your inner knowledge can grow. Of course, a sadhaka should not consider the others to be inferior, but until his physical, mental, emotional, and psychic resistance are developed, it is better to stay away from social interactions and negative influences."
I just spoke about this in class the other day, about surrounding yourself with little Ganesha's everywhere...people in your life who open doors, inspire change, and lead by example. So, maybe instead of saying avoiding the company of common people one could say surround yourself with extraordinary or uncommon people.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
There are some days it all seems so easy, and light, and sublime. Then there are days like today. I can't even believe I am vertical enough to be typing this. If I could describe my life right now, I might call it swirling into the unknown. So much change is in the air, so many I don't knows, so much unsaid.
Yesterday was the moon day, and I think I should have squeezed in some kind of practice. An alphabet, a bajan, something. The Foundations Workshop this weekend has only four spots remaining (as of Sunday.) If you are interested you should sign up ASAP. http://www.yogasquared.com/
Mike is heading back out of town for his first ever solo show in Minnesota. He is also having a solo show in Philly in February check it out!
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Tomorrow is the new moon, and so I can sleep in and maybe I'll get to a vinyasa class, maybe I'll rest.
While I was intensely practicing in India, my husband was working on his own intense project. His photo's from his trip can be found in the latest issue of Mother Jones magazine, and they are featured online. Check it out!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
Yesterday I went up to study again this time sound, and sound harmony, sutra, and mantra. I began the process of seeing how Sanskrit sounds merge together and how with practice the skilled student can break apart those sounds and meaning pours out. A once obscure idea, become powerfully clear. It was a very hard lesson, and a hard commute. It is so strange how I choose to spend my "day off."
Such change is all around, and on so many levels. I feel different, I feel everything I know changing. A friend wrote me an email this week so inspiring about how she is taking back her practice. As I sat with those thoughts, and I still sit with them I keep hearing fragments of this poem:
"The very sequence of your act is to take back,
To flow back so as not to break
The integrity of the water's body!"
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I do feel free. If only I shake of the drama.
Going to see a playful and charming lady about all things yoga tomorrow, hopefully some will rub off onto me.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Yoga is a living tradition.
Vidya is also translated as science, Manas also means measure.
Energy needs to flow.
First untie the knots.
Frame by Frame. (this is super important for properly understanding the method of "vinyasa")
When memory becomes strong--we remember what is important.
It was one of the best yoga events that I have been to in a while. Simple, cheap, authentic, and amazing. I was remembering the time I signed up for a very famous, yoga "diva's" very expensive day long offering, leaving feeling completely hoodwinked, cheated, the concept of yoga dumbed down for the highly-incomed, smashed in crowd.
Monday, January 19, 2009
After a full teaching day Saturday, the plan was to get up on Sunday at 4am to practice. What stood between me and practice....200 miles and some seriously dubious driving weather.
No sleep 'til until I was standing in a room full of Ashtangi's some who I traveled with, some I recognized from Mysore, dear reunions from Philly (the city of brotherly love), dear reunions from Mysore (the city inside my heart.)
I am still digesting the experience, the practice, the chai, the lecture. It made for a perfect ending to a very full weekend exploring the living tradition of yoga.
Amanda wrote about it at her blog check it out.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Sunday: Led Class with Eddie Stern, Amanda, Doug, and 147 other people.
Monday: Mysore at Yoga Squared
Tuesday: 1pm Self Practice at Wake Up
Wednesday: Mysore at Yoga Squared
Thursday: Trip to NYC to see Ma so we'll see how it goes
Friday: Could be a toss up...I'll keep you posted.
Saturday: Teach and Rest
I am really excited about the workshop tomorrow. I am sure there will be much to blog about.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Looking Forward While Dropping Back
Saturday January 17, 2009 2pm-5pm
Blue Banyon7153 Sprague St. in East Mt. Airy Philadelphia, PA
$45, pre-registration is required
If you can't make it here are some tips that I feel resonate from Sri Brahmananda Sarasvati:
"First remember your mind, and your mental powers.
Salute all divine seers, teachers, and yogi's.
Be ready to accept what is truth, and beneficial, and renounce what is untruth, and injurious."
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I think that in all areas of my life I hold the bar really high. So, after teaching last night's usually very inspiring class I felt like I let the whole lot of students down. I couldn't say what I wanted to say, I was stumbling and fumbling around searching for the way to weave the whole class together. I missed the mark precisely because I wasn't sure what I was aiming at.
I dream of other jobs. Jobs that are just that jobs. A place to go to work, and when your are not at work, your not at work. I fantasize about health care, steady paychecks, paid vacation, Saturday and Sunday. My husband swears I couldn't do it. He reassures me that this is what I not only love, but in a way what I was designed to do. Is this my dharma?
Today will be clearer because there will be practice. Practice = clarity.
My drop backs workshop is filling up! If you are interested you should come because who knows when I'll change it all up, and relinquish my teacher role, and get my self a real job.....a job that requires shoes.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Some time ago I remember having these total moments of despair. At the time the closest friends in my life were either immovable and in need constant cheer leading/motivation, or so flighty, with actions careless so that brought me to the point of utter humiliation (more times to count.)
This year in Mysore I made the decision that I was going to put my self out there both personally and professionally. To no longer apologize, or play down my smarts, experience, or in some cases my sass.
After 108 Surya's on Sunday my hamstrings felt like Poly-O String Cheese, and from the long TT weekend my brain wasn't doing my better. I had full intentions of practicing in the a.m. on Monday, but I did it...I just turned the alarm off. Missing practice in the a.m. my chances for getting back on that track grow slimmer which each passing hour. Around 3:45pm I got the call. Just as I told my friend that I didn't have it in me, she responded quickly and truthfully with a well needed "Jill, get off your ass!"
So, I did, and practiced.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
According to Karen a Yoga Mala is the practice of 108 Surya Namaskara's. The groupings went 8 Surya A's, and 1 Surya B. I found it to be an very interesting study in repetition, rhythm, and the ruminations of the mind.
I was reminded of my music teacher in India. When I couldn't execute an exercise so confidently he would in all seriousness ask me if I had practiced the exercise 100 times. I hadn't. As I approached the 100th Surya A I felt a real kinship with the material, a closeness that I had never experienced before and at the same time a freshness a newness, and a deep appreciation of its simplicity and design.
Dropbacks workshop this Saturday (check my website)...you must preregister as to not be left out!!!!
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough
The Great Figure--William Carlos Williams
Among the rain
I saw a figure 5
on a red
to gong clangs
and wheels rumbling
through the dark city.
Friday, January 09, 2009
As promised I dined on the offerings of yoga teacher, studio director, colleague, and friend Corina Benner. She has such a unique style and specific relationship to the practice of asana, that the only way to understand to spend some time with her in practice. "The experience is the transformation."
Saturday I take rest from practice. In total I made it to practice 5 times, and each time I gave myself to the practice tick-tocks and all. See you tomorrow on the mat 10 am sharp at Wake Up Yoga.
Thursday, January 08, 2009
AHH, how I love yoga. Today is my one day off during the week, and I like to plan a special yoga outing. Sometimes I go to NY to see Manorama, and taste the flavors of the New York yoga community. As part of my '09 plan, I am making an effort to on Thursdays especially to get out there and swim in the different yoga pools. Today my very good friend and fellow yogini Corina trekked into Center City to practice at Dhyana Yoga. We went to the lovely Alex Holmes' 12pm Vinyasa class. I am always looking for the threads of connection. What was this class offering going to reveal to me about Ashtanga, devotion, ways in which myself can dissolve into mySelf. There is always something there that may leave me reeling for days, months even.
I thought sea grass was the perfect description.
Tomorrow to round out the trimurti of vinyasa offerings, I am headed to Corina Benner's 1pm "advanced" yoga class at Wake Up Yoga. Maybe I'll see you there! After that I am ready to head back to the church of Ashtanga, and get back to the soundtrack of breath, the movement of energy, and the focus on the point (whatever that means.)
In celebration of the full moon this Sunday, January 11th 9-11:30am I am at Yoga Sqaured to lead some chanting with my sqeezebox followed with Sri Karen leading a Yoga Mala (108 surya namaskara's.) 10% of the proceeds are going to the PSPCA.
Most days I practice in very small groups, some a bit larger. I never practice in the kind of class that I teach jam packed, energized, and focused. This week as part of the New Year I am trying to get out and enjoy the vast samplings in the yoga community here in Philadelphia. Yesterday I made the rainy pilgrimage to Queens Village to Practice Yoga. This yoga shala has been instrumental in building the Philadelphia community. I believe it opened in the spring of 2002. It was a very sweet class, with a very sweet teacher. It was a small group, and a very basic but deep exploration of asana and breath, and for me a contemplation about yoga as an offering.
Sometimes, "students" who are local yoga teachers will take their very own field trip to a class that I am teaching. Sometimes, these individuals will disregard the offerings of the class. I don't know what that is all about. For me it is pretty simple. If I go to a friends house for dinner and they are serving yoga, just because they know I love yoga, the ONLY choice is to eat the meal that has been crafted with love, and savor in that experience.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Looking Forward While Dropping Back
Saturday January 17, 2009 2pm-5pm
Blue Banyon7153 Sprague St. in East Mt. Airy Philadelphia, PA firstname.lastname@example.org
$45, pre-registration is required
Are you terrified, yet intrigued by the practice of dropping back? Have you created mythology around this practice telling yourself that it is something designed for someone more flexible, younger, someone with more strength, or maybe just more chutzpa? Then this workshop has been designed for you. In this workshop we will explore the qualities of “drop backs” that are embedded into the fabric of every single vinyasa yoga class. By learning to utilize the natural curves of the spine, and exploring organic undulations throughout the entire practice we can begin to make connections so that dropping back is as simple (not easy), and familiar as learning to stand (we will explore that as well.)
Points of Exploration: Learning to Crawl, Minding Your Head, aka “Head Down Bottom Up”, All about Upward Dog, Open Your Heart, “Don’t Fear!”
After 70 or so dropbacks this year in Mysore with Sharath right there watching you, I think I've got something to say. Think of it new year, new terrain, totally remodel your practice.
Monday, January 05, 2009
After practice I got to have some coffee with Adam and Amanda. After some long chats about yoga, life, choice, and knowing when to exit but waiting just a bit longer, I went to pick up a friend for a long awaited date. We went to see Slumdog Millionaire. I had already seen the film, but I can't stop it when it comes to my beloved India. It was like seeing the Taj, better the second time. Although the experience of the day made me miss Mysore. The practice, the chatting, the community, and I felt a little lost at the end of the day.
There I was at home with two of my very own slumdogs that no doubt needed to be taken out.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
Friday, January 02, 2009
Lindsey, you were totally right! I didn't get a chance to blog yesterday. I missed the very first day in January, and I was sort of freaking out about it. Svaha. The beginning of '09 has already been a wild adventure. I taught at Wake Up yesterday at 11am and it was packed...crazy packed. In that little room we had 30 eager students, sometimes when it gets really full at Wake Up the energy can be strange, some are happy for the fullness while others are not, but yesterday the energy was really great, and I think it was the best "large class vinyasa" I managed.
I am sick. My husband and dogs are sleeping in the bed, and I think that I'll get back and join them, but I really needed to post something, so that I could rest. I will be posting a second blog today to make up for my mini mis-start.