Asana Junkies day 2:


Day 2 San Marcos, TX:  Asana Junkies with Christina Sell

i’m feeling much better today!

and i’m grateful for day two! day two always feels better. aside from the obvious benefit of a good night’s sleep, there is benefit in the merging of individual energies into a group energy. by the end of the workshop we’ll feel like good ol’ buddies.

our car ride to Christina’s School of Yoga was less hectic today: three yogis and a ramp. the ramp foreshadows the inevitable backbend play/work ahead. tea time is chatty time and our chit chat, although delightful, made us late for our morning puja. Christine handled it well with a smile and an anecdote about her days at Prescott College. she paraphrases one of her teachers, “You cannot not communicate. your behavior communicates.” a very important teaching that can serve to call us to attention. what is my behavior communicating? … …

light poured in through the studio’s high windows, so perfectly aligned with the mood of the room it was like a soundtrack. as we participated in our chanting, pranayama and meditation, the previously grey sky offered us bright rays of light in return.

the morning session was 10am until the end of the world… there’s no limit on backbends! the practice was sweaty and slippery! by the end of class Miss Tanya looked like she jumped into a pool! she was so excited because she got some air in one-armed Mayurasana. Miss Christine had some vocal breakthroughs in Viparita Chakrasana (hence the ramp) today as well! the general sequence: standing poses, belly down backbends, handbalancings, more backbends and more backbends. it was a hybrid of Iyengar meets Bikram minus the high heat. we made our own heat! the mood was ferociously playful!

Christina talked about the strategy of using the pose to prepare for the pose, not for beginners, but more intermediate/advanced. i remember in my earlier days of practice and teaching i’d prepare and prepare and prepare… and sometimes due to time constraints, never even make it to the pose! so now, i just accept that the first urdhva dhanurasana might feel crappy (for example), but I can use the alignment and actions I know to free myself in the pose. (Tanya smiles and says she always anticipates this moment in class…) just like in life! i can apply the cumulative lessons i’ve acquired to the current circumstances in order to shift my perception, and thus free myself in the moment.

Christina and Darren often quote a Lee Lozowick saying, “Forewarned is forearmed.” i thought about this as i anticipated upcoming poses in the sequence… we can’t choose the sequence offered by the teacher, but we choose how to engage within what is offered. … especially within a sequence that i’ve done before, i can anticipate what’s coming and prepare myself physically, and most importantly mentally… how do i look at/approach what’s coming? with dread or persistence? persistence is “firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition, continuing steadfastly.” … … …

regarding sequencing: (of poses or circumstances of our life, cuz hell, isn’t all a metaphor… Miss Manorama says, “Look to the metaphor.”), how do poses relate to each other? christina sell likes to sequence from Mr. Iyengar’s Light on Yoga (so fantastic, because that’s how I love to practice! the book is an empowering guide!) and in her teaching of these sequences in recent workshops I’ve attended, she emphasizes how it’s not a “peak pose” strategy, but rather do what you can do in the pose your in and see what it offers you for the next pose. further, Miss Christina Sell invites us to just do it a couple of times and try it again tomorrow. rather than get too hung up on “getting” the pose no matter what, she stimulates a healthy level of detachment. in our day to day living may we expand our awareness to see how the struggles i endure on this day grant me virtues and thus serve me for future endeavors.

lunch showed up with no excuses or justification… ha ha… it was just late, and it accepted full responsibility… a welcome change of clothes, Christine Lee and I dove into preparation for our November Coata Rica retreat. she also received some acupuncture from Mr. Kelly Sell, Miss Christina’s very kind husband.  he’s so supportive and such a sweet presence.  in addition he also offers us acupuncture in our breaks!

afternoon session: restoratives, inversions, forward folds, hip openers, and great discussion.

Lululemon Outlet Store!!! uh oh! …

damn neon and fluorescent colors are super see through and you can see my tattoos right through them! and yet, i bought them anyway… so there’s that…

evening brought dinner, more flyer work with Christine Lee, and facebook entertainment.

we’re so looking forward to our first retreat together! side note: we’ve decided that between the two of us, we’d make the perfect yogi. we’re complementary. i’m grateful for our partnership. she’s quite a gift in my life.

what a fabulous day! Again, I’m so grateful to be here. I’m honored to be with such amazing, strong, inspiring women! Yeah, it’s all ladies! Oh, and Kelly. :-)





Terrific Tuesday!

I taught three classes at central today.  On top of my normal classes I got to sub for Rachelle at 8pm.  What a day!  That’s how I know I am in the right field–whenever my mind tells me, “there’s no way!” or “man, I’m gonna be so tired!” or “I am done!” an unexplainable surge of energy arises from within me and gives me what I need to get the job done, and usually well.  I’m so grateful.

In my yogahour classes the word of the day was ‘resilient’.  To be resilient is to be able to bounce back into shape after bending, stretching or being compressed; to be able to withstand or recover from difficult situations.  Through yoga asana we practice being resilient in our bodies as we assume various poses.  We are always welcome to step into deeper practice in our minds by quickly recovering in our minds when events subvert our plans, circumstances supersede our expectations, or emotions erupt.  This is the practice of yoga on and off the mat.  I believe this consistent practice is advanced practice.  Sure, doing the fancy yoga poses is cool.  Who wouldn’t wanna touch their feet to their forehead while balancing on their forearms in a backbend, right?  Ha!  Or at least see someone who could?!  Wherever you begin is perfect.  The Bhagavad Gita said there are many paths, and all paths up the mountain lead to the same place.  Whether you begin with the body through yoga poses (asana) and breathing (pranayama) or the mind with meditation and contemplation or heart with devotional songs and poetry, they all serve to take you deeper into the practice.  Ultimately, yoga is a practice of self-study, self-observation.  Through self-observation one may bring oneself into balance or harmony.  In his book Light on Yoga Mr Iyengar says, “it (yoga) means a poise of the soul which enables one to look at life in all its aspects evenly.”  Like most things worthwhile, it’s simple, but not easy.SONY DSC

I recently encountered an opportunity to cultivate the virtue of resilience.  I’m on the path of Anusara certification, and feels like a long time traveling.  I’ve seen and experienced much along the way!  Test… check….video….check…and check….and check!  And now a little more digging deeper.  The saying, “it’s not about the destination, it’s the journey” applies here.  Because I am “only Inspired” and not YET certified, I serve with no less enthusiasm.  My classes are still lively, fun, heart-centered, rich and authentic.  I teach challenging classes that offer one the opportunity to reach inside to find what they need to carry on, just as life so often does.  Facing “rejection” in the realm of my own head is much more difficult than the reality of it.  My assessor said I am going to get certified, there’s just some things I need to do now to make my teaching “stellar.”  And yes, she really did say “stellar.”  I dig the word usage, I’m in.  😉

Last night I was reading through the Yogahour Teacher Training Manual, by Darren Rhodes, again  and the following quote jumped off the page, “We learned the hard way (often the only way) that there is often potential magic to seemingly tragic.  When failure seems inevitable and you refuse to give up, pivotal and lasting transformations can and often do take place.  Without the pressing possibility of failure, what would push us to discover our true capacity?  Possible failure can be the very force that invokes superlative success.”