Thursday, July 30, 2009

Letting Go

What a concept. Putting this into practice is a whole different story. Yogis say, "Svaha!" sometimes when you don't know what else to say. I can feel myself battling the familiar, trying desperately to arrange things in the way I that I think they should go. I just told a friend yesterday about my crazy Spring filled with emotions and depression. I told her that I saw one of those inspirational cards that caught my eye. It said, "if you are at the end of your rope, hold on." For her I think this advice is true, for me, right now, at this very time, this very moment I am at the end of this rope and I have got to find a way to LET GO.

Today and tomorrow Philadelphia.

Next stop Providence.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One Year Ago

I had just landed for my third time in India. I remember when I thought that traveling to, practicing in, and traveling around India was an impossibility. Although last year was the third it was my first time alone, and it was the longest stretch away from my husband and home. The very first night I dropped to my knees (no joke) and cried. I couldn't imagine how this was all going to work, nine weeks without working, nine weeks without my husband, nine weeks in India. I was up all night.

Nine years after planting in Philadelphia I am leaving. I was up all night. Well, not all night, but Mike and I were awake from 3ish until the soft sunrise. I can't image how this is all going to work out. I am starting to freak out.

Tonight is the last Tuesday night class for me at Wake Up, and Saturday is the final class, and there is a party after so hope to see so many sweet faces before the long Philly pause.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

What I Like About You

Not to long ago I sent some students, and colleagues and email entitled, "Getting my shit together." The email was a cry for help. As I prepare to leave this city so many people have been asking, "you're coming back to teach some workshops, right?" I have been told by many that I am good at what I do. I know that I love teaching yoga, and I love the subject itself. It would be then impossible (especially given the number of years that I have been at this) not have have some skill. But as I tried to parcel out what was it that I was good at I couldn't see the forest through the vrkshasana's.

Here is some of the feedback, and if you have more please email it to me.

There has never been a class I've taken with Jill that I haven't: a) learned
something, b) been inspired, and c) smiled. All three are enormously
important to me both in my practice and my life. Her depth of knowledge is
something to behold.

Jill is a teacher whose skill and patience are revealed to surprising new depths every time you practice with her. When you begin to feel you've arrived someplace, she is there to illuminate whole new levels and elements of practice, and to encourage you onwards. She offers concrete, matter-of-fact instruction in both the physical and energetic aspects of yoga practice, balancing the joy of asana with the focus and repetition required for mastery. Her guidance has been a continual revelation as I've worked towards a deeper understanding of practice.

So, I will do my best to explain what it is that makes me avoid social plans on Tuesday evenings and Sat mornings as best i can: the you in you that shines through so honestly, your sense of humor, your ability to demonstrate poses with grace and ease that helps give me a confidence so I feel as if I can do the same, your knowledge of asanas so that classes are designed in a way that my body seems to move in ways I wouldnt' think I was capable of ( this in itself builds a sense of confidence I have in you as a teacher and also a confidence in myself), your ability to use your voice to guide my movemennt and breath to sinc and move almost lavishly, and the quotes and themes woven into your classes...I forgot to mention those...many have supported me through some rough spots in my life.

I began a more dedicated practice during and following TT with you, and over the years have had the pleasure of not only watching my own practice grow, but yours as well. What I mean to say is that you are a student yourself, and when you teach, you seem to always draw from both your student and teacher experiences in a way that is so human, so grounding. What I have really grown to appreciate about studying with you is your ability to take poses apart, down to the nitty gritty, and then put them back together like a puzzle, piece by piece, drawing clear connections from one pose to the next. It really doesn't matter what the focus is..backbends or binding...whatever you choose. It's your style of teaching, of getting to know each student, offering options, and building logically and simply (sometimes) from the ground up that really makes you someone I want to learn from and study with.