Ekham* Koan* Enso*

*Enso by favorite artist, HAKUIN

After morning Mysore practice this morning, my back felt so good I wanted to burst. Thanks to John Bultman's no-hands assist via Jared Westbrook, I am sure each chakra was lit up and flashing!

Today was one of a few times I have arrived in Kapotasana since John's workshop a month ago. I had no idea this could happen to someone unable (still) to stand up from back bend! And I thank Sharath for giving me the 2nd Series pass because, in my humble opinion, all those Nadi Shodana back bends are getting me closer to the Big Stand-up. One of several strategies is to drop back a little further each day (without dropping hands to ground) and use core and leg muscles to come back up. If I drop back only as far as I can go and come back up, doesn't it make sense that eventually I'll reach the ground and come up?


It's a glorious thing being a student, and what's beautiful about Ashtanga is that everyone is a student no matter what series one is doing and no matter how many people one teaches! Even Sharath thinks of himself as a student (conference notes -  January 2015). Built into the practice I believe, is a respect and honor for everyone no matter where they are on the path of yoga and/or life.

At some point, many of us become expanded - for want of better words - with love and joy - and we want to give something back. Influenced by Alexander Medin and realizing there are many people who do not have access to the health and spiritual benefits of yoga, I want to provide that opportunity.  

Now I am in an interesting situation. 

I have volunteered to share (resisting word "teach") the practice at an Asheville church that offers various free services—from friend Barbara's story group, to acupuncture, to delicious meals. Making  easy, free, access to yoga available, I have done. 

However, questions/koans* have arisen:

     Should I play the role of teacher instead of a person who is there, hangs out, and shares?

     Should there be a little more rigorous structure to the "class" (not many have shown up!) in accordance with people's expectations about what a yoga class is. Mysore style classes are perfect for small numbers - but they are so unfamiliar to and therefore difficult for most people in USA.

    Should the class fit people's abilities or should people fit into the basics of (Ashtanga) yoga?

     What if I provided folks who come to the church with the transportation to Asheville Community Yoga where "real" teachers are? (That too would fulfill my wish to share.)

   What happens when the rubber (one's ideas) hit the road (reality!)? Is this the ultimate koan??

So much to explore and consider! Trusting time will provide clarity and answers, and questions may be forgotten and forsaken in the "just doing it" over many weeks. 

Finally, I'm dying to talk about a collaborative project with grad-school friend Diane. Symbolized by the enso circle, it encompasses (circle-enso!) these things and all things: art, creativity, giving back, sharing, energy, teaching, learning, and completing a circle. 

And how about this for perfect? I just found out some Zen artists say the enso should be done in one brush stroke with one exhale! 

And this too is yoga!!


*ekham: one in Sanskrit
* koan: question with no logical answer

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