Monday, February 22, 2010

Heart Beat and Lessons learned from Trice

A student just asked me this morning, "how was the first week back?" Last week was a bit bumpy. Which is totally expected and I did feel a sense of excitement about yoga, practice, teaching and starting to connect some major dots (and let go of major doubt) that I feel still now as I write this post. I have committed to making connections in the Rhode Island yoga community.

On Valentine's day (a moon day) I went to Eyes of the World Yoga in Providence. The thing that I took away from that class was when the teacher invited the students to lift the toes in a lunge I could hear sweaty toes being pulled from the sticky mat, I could feel curious yoga students willing to experience an instruction. I liked that!

Yesterday I took a trip to Ashtanga Yoga Rhode Island. The shala is situated on the Connecticut/Rhode Island border. It was a lovely little room and the class was pretty darn full. I noticed that many men came out to practice and that in general the population was a little older. The owner/teacher was really welcoming. As I was waiting for the bathroom an older man with a very New England accent told me that he comes from Connecticut 3 times a week to practice there, and that he was a total Ashtangi. Then he said to me, "'re pretty advanced, huh?" It was so cute! Then I told him, I practice...a lot.

Since this was my first led Primary class since leaving the shala in Mysore I did notice that the teacher was really trying to get everyone to slow down, wait for the count and move and breath together. I asked a friend who stopped toward the end of led Primary what does the room look like. She said that it is beautiful to watch and that it looks and feels like a heartbeat. Everyone is pulsing on the point.


I am also taking suggestion from this friend to put myself out there, always introduce myself. I am trying to shake off some of my shyness and shine! I am just warming my practice room and later I am meeting with the owner of Shri-Studio.

Do I have the post Mysore blues? A little, but I am far too excited about all the growth that this last trip has given me and the confidence to move forward with what I love.

TDB- 80

and yes that is a Trice inspired red pedicure with flip flop tan lines and my best practice friend, the space heater.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Practice Recap

I hit the ground here in Providence running. I went right back to work at risd works and taught 5 mornings this week. It is cold and I am still trying to figure out the right practice schedule. I am trying to find a cosistant meeting time each day and yes I am aiming for a 6 day a week practice schedule. This week I made it to the mat 4 times.

I didn't make New Year's Resolutions/Intentions at the start of the year. I didn't feel complelled to because I was in the land of self care, introspection, pratice, rest and recharging. Not to mention travel and culture and being placed in sometimes umcomfortable situations.

Here are some practice goals:

Practice 6 days a week

Continue chanting with Jayashree everyday (I have her call and response CD)

Once a week get out and take a class with other people!

Continue practicing with Victoria on Wednesday's

Play my edges

Understand myself, my breath, and why practice is so powerful

Keep this blog and be honest about practice and all that I am feeling


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sip Slowly

I had a great practice today in my sweet yoga room at home. My practice buddy Victoria joined me and with our friend the space heater we both got good and hot. The weather is very phlegm-y today.

I have been teaching students more slowly this round in Providence. I feel supported by Sharath's style of being in absolutely no rush when it comes to "giving" out poses. I have been practicing this style of yoga for 4 years now with 4 trips to Mysore in my experience and I have never injured myself and despite what some may say I feel great most of the time when I am practicing regularly. It is when I am not practicing with steadiness that the pains come. Maybe this is because I have two beloved teachers one lives in South Flordia and the other in South India and for the most part I have worked much of the material on my own. These teachers have taught me to sip the practice slowly. Sharath often says in led class, "why you hurry?" What a great question.


Monday, February 15, 2010

1st day back at full 2nd

Yesterday was such a great yoga day in Rhode Island. I woke early and started to heat up my yoga room and the realized that it was a moon day. I did want to practice. I wanted to be around other people and I wanted to sweat! It is so cold here in Providence. I did some research at saw that there was a 9am class happening at a local vinyasa yoga studio called Eyes of The World Yoga. I have been there twice before both when I have had out of town yogis visiting me. I was excited because the class was one hour and forty five minutes. They heat the room really well so I was excited about sweating. I was also interested to see what the turn out would be like. 9am can be considered early for a Sunday morning class. It was really full. The energy in the room felt great and I was really happy I went.

I also taught an afternoon workshop at Raffa Yoga in Cranston. It was another amazing experience. All of the participants, many teachers of yoga were so welcoming and excited to begin a practice of Ashtanga Yoga.

I took special care and cleaned my yoga room today before practice while the space heater was doing its thing. My practice today started with singing the Guru-Astakam followed by chanting the entire (a lot by memory) Samadhi Padah followed by a long period of quiet sitting. When I started to practice I made the decision to return to a full second series practice at least once a week and today was the day to start.

TDB - 69 (why not keep count all year long?)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Turbulent Landings

Before I left Mysore on Wednesday a friend/yoga student suggested that I keep blogging from Rhode Island. While I tend to rattle of a blog here and there she wanted something at least semi consistent as she told me she checks my blog often. I understand that frustration. My sister is away in NYC and I know she hasn't blogged but I check anyway just in case she squeezed in a picture or two.

I have been home since Thursday night and while I was in a frenzy about the foreboding weather. My plane landed just fine.

My plane landed just fine.

I am still trying to figure out how this landing gear works. It's cold and my full time graduate student husband while excited to see me could not put his crazy schedule on hold. This really must mean that I am not the center of the universe. I started back at risd|works yesterday (only semi excited about.) I start back teaching today (I am thrilled about!)

Someone in RI sent me this message yesterday, " my friend Brad says that he loves your class at the Y, and I am really impressed by how you've got the word out about what you do to our little city."

Rhode Island's state motto is HOPE. I think this blog is going to be about yoga in the Hope state. Today is the beginning of that journey. Landing from the Garden City of Mysore, India to the sate of Hope.

If you have been reading this blog or curious about Ashtanga Yoga I am giving a three hour workshop today at Raffa Yoga (the link is directly to the right.) Please come and experience! It may be the best Valentine you have ever given yourself....EVER!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The real shoulder stand

"No matter how well-trained the tumbler's boy, he will never be able to stand on his own shoulders."

4 and a half weeks-66 Total Drop Backs

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

"One More"

This is a very familiar quote to anyone who has been to the Shala in Mysore. It is used in a very practical way here in Mysore. It is the sound that "one more" student can enter into the practice room. It is the acknowledgement that "one more" student has exhausted themselves and pushed further than they may have ever thought possible. "One More" has because a mantra (Narasimha defines mantra as an 'ultra sonic washing machine' for the mind.)

One more dropback
One more 3:40am shuffle to the shala
One more minute you can sit with the wild, unruly, anxiety ridden mind

One More...

If you stack enough 'one more' together it starts to create momentum, a continuous cycle that may just lead to a steadiness that is the very essence of practice.

I have one more practice at the shala, traveled one more time to India for a girl who just got their passport in 2006, one more very blessed and life changing experience. It may be a bit to early to be mushy but I am dedicating this trip to:

My mom and dad, who never let me go anywhere as a kid which I am sure has set me up perfectly to go anywhere I want.

My sister, for always being a renegade in her own way and while not always understanding my desire to be in this foreign place, ALWAYS supporting and SKYPING with me.

My yoga teacher, I described like this this trip, I was driving along minding my own business and he stopped me in the middle of the road and gently pointed me (far)into another direction.

Mostly, my husband, for making all this become a reality not just once, but one more...and one more.

From Mysore with BIG LOVE


Monday, February 08, 2010

Minding Winter

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

Wallace Stevens

I had a great practice today. Showed Sharath my Kapotasana upon request, and got the next pose.

2 more practices at the shala

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Shakti Restored

I read a great short story called Yurt by Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum and I
underlined this, "maybe all it took was some time away, some time aboard,
for one's acuity to be restored, because now, simply standing beside Ms.
Duffy, she could feel her powers beginning to return."

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Week 5 | Bannana Sweetness

I slept 10 hours last night. In the past on a Saturday I would set my alarm for 6am just to keep as close to an early schedule as possible. The reality of 6 days of waking at the silliest hour in the morning set in right away and I do no such thing on Saturday's this trip. I woke at 7am today feeling so much better than I had for the past two days.

I am ready to finish strong.

Today I got some last minute shopping done in the Market and just had a very leisurely lunch at Anu's. I am really excited about returning home. I am so jazzed about my teaching schedule and hope to put some more workshops on my schedule soon. Every trip to Mysore has touched on something so amazing. It is still way to early to pronounce the real 'juice' of this exploration. I can say that I have figured some things out about myself that I have hidden really well for a long time.

(23) 3:30am wake up calls
(53) drop backs
(4) sutras chanted directly to Jayashree
(1) holding steady at Kapotasana
(0) classes at the shala missed
(281) pages into Twilight
(4) days left in beautiful South India

Friday, February 05, 2010

I hit the wall

After 23 wake up calls at 3:30am, and 53 drop backs (I am not even counting the ankle grabbing section), and various other yogic studies that by Thursday leave my brain fried. I hit it, the yoga wall...hard. Again this morning I didn't want to go to practice. This now seemed like a very un-me sign. I went and slept for two hours after practice. Went to breakfast and came home showered and tried to motive myself to get out and do something but instead slept two more hours.

Just got back from a late afternoon coffee with Kadie. We can do that because thankfully we all have off from practice tomorrow. I hope to rest so that I can get past the wall and finish my final days in this amazing and crazy place strong.

Home in 6 days.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

I have starting thinking.....

...about my return. This time next week I'll be flying through the time and space continuum and landing in Boston on the same date that I left India, February 11th. I have also been thinking about my upcoming teaching schedule (which is filling up IS limited.) I could write today abut how I didn't want to go to practice. I just laid in my bed long after the alarm went off creating a least three reasons why it would be alright if I missed you one day. After 10 minutes of the devil on my shoulder goading me into skipping I got up got dressed and headed to the gate. In the changing room I put my head on another students shoulder and whined a bit before heading into the brightly light shala.

Practice was swift for being an epic length at this point and strong, and yes I am happy that I went.

Here are the links for registering for the upcoming sessions. I am also giving an Intro Workshop on February 14 (what a better way to show yourself some LOVE) at Raffa Yoga you can follow that link for details.

I miss hOMe madly and look forward to reconnecting and building on the already blossoming Ashtanga Yoga community.

Raffa Yoga Sessions (Cranston, RI):

Motion Center Sessions (Providence, RI):

TDB - 53

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Practice Love

Not all that long ago I sent an email blast to inform students of my upcoming events. Not all that long ago I starting signing off with the two words that are the title of this very blog.

love | practice

After this blast a student( it is so hard to distinguish between who is teaching who most of the time...for me anyway) wrote me back and said that as he reads my sign off he reads it both forwards and backwards. He is loving practice but also practicing love.

As I wind down this experience and go back to my little practice room in Rhode Island I hope to practice love more. I think I got this asana stuff down. I know enough people who have got the asana bit down literally to a science because they love Love LOVE practice but what if we all started to practice love more.

Jayashree said today that the intellect divides...that's it job and the emotion joins....that sounds like yoga to me a joining, a coming together, reducing the space between mine and yours. Notice how many times especially in yoga we (and I mean me first) use the a quality of possessiveness:

My practice
My teacher
My shala/studio

It sounds like what a terrible two year year old yammers on about. Have we (and I mean me first) not evolved on this path? Could a practice (notice I didn't say "the" practice;"the" practice only uplifts) actually develop all the qualities that are opposite of yoga?

I am going to work on The Practice. I am going to practice love more (thanks Luca.)

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

One Week

Wow. I leave Mysore one week from tomorrow. I can't believe it. I miss my husband and snuggling with my dogs. I miss the students who have been so dedicated in Providence. When I leave this place I will "take" so many things with me. I will NOT be taking my practice time home to Providence.

There is a magic in the monotony. The sameness in the day to day experience. The other morning after practice I sat with some students under the nearly full moon after practice. It is still dark out at 6am. One student who has been to Mysore 5 times just started dropping back and standing up on their own this trip. Immediately Sharath gave her pasasana. We sat there under the moon recognizing the metaphor of is not about the drop is not about the poses. I am not going to be so arrogant to say, "what it is all about!" but if you have a know that the whole of practice hints at something larger, bigger, and more universal than you may have ever thought.


Monday, February 01, 2010

Faithful Determination I need to say anymore?