Sri K Patabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute/Shala in Mysore
Impressive building. Going to be there in January!
Very excited and scared. Will stay until March and C will return after a month. Adrenalin!
Colorado was a yoga buffet, a moveable feast, indeed.
Went a few days to Richard Freeman's Yoga Workshop in Boulder and loved his assistant, Tai. (RF was teaching a month-long workshop in the main building.) Mysore classes were intense and I got lots of help in general and moral support for standing up from backbend ("You've got it. You just need to work on technique." Well, maybe.....)
There was no Ashtanga in Aspen, a beautiful place full of rich people that offered only an expensive vinyasa class. Though difficult, it was not particularly fun or meaningful. The order of the poses seemed arbitrary and like a lot of things in Aspen—the class had a lot of external pazazz but no substance beyond the usual New Age chatter.
Four classes with Annie Pace in Crestone—well, that was different! Depth and intensity there certainly balanced the superficiality of Aspen. Annie made some very helpful corrections and assists, She is such an interesting person and teacher.
Still considering an essay on thoughts about teachers (perhaps) specifically and in general. Perhaps more to come on the subject.
My own practice has, despite an occasional relapse, been energized.
I have also realized a few things about Urdhva Dhanurasana:
I am going to have to figure out my own way to "get" it. Teachers who did not strive for a certain pose, never had to figure out how to work on it. Very simple - and it applies to me also—it would be difficult for me to explain how to work on a pose that I "got" quickly or effortlessly to someone who was struggling with it.
Believe my difficulties have made me understand UD on a much deeper level than any other pose. Since I have been unable to "just do it," I've been taking it apart movement by movement, doing it slowly. Watching at what point I need the wall, how close my feet need to be, exactly where my arms should be, and where WHERE I need more strength! Legs? Torso? I'm still not sure yet, but I'm getting closer. Oh, and all at the same time watching breath and bandhas!!
Here's my current recipe:
- 3 backbends from the floor and near a wall from which I crawl up the wall. As soon as I get high enough to abandon the wall, I lift on my own power.
- 3 standing back bends with my arms crossed over my chest going as far back as possible and standing on my own power.
- 3 standing back bends with hands extended, going much deeper, finally using the wall and standing as soon as possible on my own power.
I swear I'm going to be the ultimate expert on this pose!
"Letting go into whatever is arising while staying solidly grounded in our body leads us to the experience of insight, and it is for this reason that the yoga traditions cherish and respect practices involving the body." - Richard Freeman The Mirror or Yoga
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Post script about shalijit, the herb Sherpas use and is supposed to energize one at high altitudes: Took it in Crestone which I think is at 9000' and could not sleep. Maybe I was taking too much, but as soon as I stopped taking it, slept like a baby. Easily wired, this one.