asana junkies day 4: the waterfall


San Marcos, TX; Asana Junkies; Christina Sell; day 4

three ladies on the road again! back to San Marcos for the last day of the workshop with the car packed to the brim… yeah, we’re ladies… and Miss Tanya and I plan to leave after the workshop.  the mood is happy and chit chatty.  Miss Tanya drives in her pretty pink shirt with fancy cuts in the back of it, Miss Christine rocking her new white Lulu pants, and I’m sporting my new pale green Lulu pants (yeah Outlet Store!)

Today is full spectrum… can you feel the excitement?!

morning chanting, pranayama, and meditation. tea time.

asana practice with Miss Christina Sell 10am-2pm!  standing sequence very similar to yesterday. challenging and sweaty. so good. i appreciate and loathe the repetition all at once. it’s good for me. my anticipation and dread is something i can work with in a valuable way that can translate into life, for when i anticipate and/or dread something I can bring myself into the moment, feel my breath and just do it anyway, with experiential faith that good will come from it. also, repetition grants us the opportunity to have a marker, a gauge by which to observe progress, which bestows upon us a sense of accomplishment.  years ago I was in a webinar with Christina Sell and she talked about the value of a sense of accomplishment, and how ultimately little steps (like the waterfalls one at a time!–see below) overcomes fear, builds confidence in oneself and fosters a sense that the success can be repeated. it was so with the waterfalls today and it was so in our rad sequence over the past four days.

today i felt the best of all of the days. my shoulders finally felt open! everything felt so good, hard, but so good. we were all drenched in our own sweat, working diligently and wholeheartedly. there was a section of the class after handbalancings that Miss Christina offered us the opportunity to play with whichever backbends we wanted, any of them. I am grateful for Miss Christine Lee’s willingness to help me work on my Rajakapotasana. it’s the hardest backbend for me right now. I struggled hard with it the previous day and broke down in tears. Kapotasana used to be like that for me. practicing it sent my back into spasm and i’d fall to the floor sobbing.  remembering how horrible kapotasana used to feel and acknowledging that I can do it now helped me feel optimistic and willing. Christine sweetly reminded me how the body stores emotions and it’s just another layer where they’re stored. we worked on it several times together, and there’s no way to make it easy, no props that help me get it, using the wall didn’t help. there’s just grunt work of working diligently in the pose and then the sticker of it all, is in the midst of it all with everything, i have i to practice letting go, surrendering it all, my ego, my striving, my sadness, my high expectations, in the physical form of letting my heart soften, to use the classic Anusara saying. the two are mutually exclusive: over-striving and a soft heart. so there’s my work. … soften…  and keep practicing. practice with persistence and devotion… Miss Sienna Smith from San Francisco shared what she gained in the closing circle (to summarize), “practice, patience, play.”  i recognize that along with the will required to get on your mat with regularity there’s a softening necessary in your heart which comes from an energetically different fierceness of will… a passionate willingness to soften (yoga embraces the paradox– to be strong and soft, to engage and let go)… after working on Rajakapotasana for (what felt like) many many times Christina chimed in just in time, saying something to the eftect of, “after working on something that’s hard for you, give yourself a pose you like to do. play.”

… …

and i ate the river for lunch! or rather the river almost swallowed me! tanya, christine and i went to the San Marcos River near the studio. what a treat! it seems to be the thing to do on the weekends there. turns out Miss Christine used to be a synchronized swimmer and a lifeguard, so she loves the water and skillfully insisted i get in, and then with her slyness, she managed to get me to go down the waterfall slide. she’s good! this woman is a leader! last time i was in the San Marcos river I got pulled under after the first waterfall and panicked (that’s the part that messes everything up), and a nice man helped me out. apparently I stored that experience away, and this trip it came out in the form of resistance. just like a skillful yoga teacher or a loving mother, she built my confidence one baby step at a time. stage one , into the water! it was cold, but so refreshing after this morning’s intense practice and the warmth of the day. step 2, first waterfall, step 3 first and second waterfall without stopping (i sort of failed, but still succeeded because i went down both with just a breath-catching break in between. just like success in working on an asana isn’t dependent on whether you achieve the final form, but whether you apply yourself fully, do what you know how to do with sincerity. full form of the pose might happen tomorrow or the next day, or never. but truly, as many of my wise teachers have said, it’s not about the pose…. and yet of coarse it absolutely is about the pose…. it’s the point and not the point all at once. … –wow this is a tangent… stay with me, we’re going places– so that you did not “get” the pose, doesn’t mean you failed. one of my other teachers said, “success is progress.” or “progress is success.” maybe it was Ulla Lundgren. that i made it down the first waterfall, freaked out and didn’t die (well, to be honest, there was a large, elephant of a man perfectly planted at the end of waterfall one, right before i got sucked into waterfall two. i reached out and grabbed him. he was like an anchor! he saved me from panic or drowning), gave me willingness to try it again. i caught my breath and went down number two. — this is a long story– we went back around and did all three and i did stop in between each one, but i went down all three, and yeah, there did just happen to be another large man in just the perfect spot for me to latch on to! as always, i’m taken are of!

(cheesy song starts playing in the background: ” i get by with a little help from my friends…”)

on the road again adventure minus one musketeer! miss tanya and i are now in the Town & Country Motel in Fort Stockton, Texas. big day. only 9 more hours to drive tomorrow.

woke up, threw a hat on, hit up breakfast, and Tucson here we come!







asana junkies day 3: a foray…


sarurday, day 3

just another day of workshop wtih Christina Sell and with such radical, awesome and inspiring women!!!  i’m honored, humbled and grateful to be in such bad-ass company!  (i’m tired so i should go to bed. it’s late in Austin and day 4 starts early tomorrow, so forgive the writing quality of this entry)  today was was a hard day, but a super fun day.

in asana practice we got our vrischikasana (scorpion) on.  the several hour session offered good ol’ fashioned hard work with skillful and challenging sequencing by Miss Christina Sell. i love the way she’s leading the workshops at her School of Yoga. it really invokes community and inspires continued challenging practice.

(oh there’s so much to say…)

at lunch i went to the river with Miss Malek and Mew Mew (her adorable chiwawa), Tanya, Christine Lee and Cheryl from Florida.  i enjoyed seeing texas community having fun in the sun… lol and i love that i saw a dude with a big cowboy hat, cowboy boots, shorts and lots of tattoos. he was great. the river posse consisted of lots of dogs,  families, plenty of children, rugged loners, couples, beers, icechests, etc. the most entertaining part was watching the scene of waterfall chasers.  lounging sunbathers in tubes, courageous kids running down backwards, tubes tied to other tubes, tubes tied to icechests on tubes, boats, kayaks, boogie boards, dare devils torpedoing bare-belly down, backwards… some were scary to watch!  i’m grateful i went.  it felt like a sweet gift, a special feature of the worksh0p to get to go “chill out” at the river in between sessions.  on the banks christine and i talked shop in preparation for November’s Costa Rica retreat.

a change of clothes and we’re back at it for afternoon practice:  a foray with hanumanasana! ha! ha! miss tanya jokingly called it a weekend in wine country.. it was funny.  (also funny, if you’re a dork about words, foray’s first definition is: a sudden attack or incursion into enemy territory, esp. to obtain something; a raid.  secondly, its an attempt to become involved in a new activity or sphere. … that sounds about right.  it’s an attack into enemy territory of hanumanasana to obtain new insight, revelation, opening, for hopefully some sense of ease)  we entertained ourselves with lots of quad and hammy opening.

mr. kelly sell is so kind and generous. he made us delicious curry and rice for dinner! we ate together and shared rich conversation with plenty of smiles, giggling and chocolate for dessert.  some of us stayed after and Miss Livia showed us a You Tube video of a narcoleptic cat that sent us rolling on the floor.  christine, tanya, and melissa shared a car ride to our hosts’ homes.  due to construction, the car took a li’l detour, and we were lost in the depths of conversation with an audience of lovely green trees.  after we dropped off melissa and christine, what’s better than an adventure at Sprouts?  an adventure at Sprouts… twice.  ha ha… we forgot something, and of course drifting all over in conversation led our car drifting all over getting a little lost on the way home… but only the first time.  lol.

laundry of our sweaty clothes, and goodnight….more tomorrow.