Saturday, November 14, 2009

Workshop Day 2

We did more yoga today! Here are the main things that made an impression on me...

Mat friction - I know my mat has some grip to it, but I don't think I realized how much until today. He asked us to set aside our mats and just use our towels on the hardwood floor...putting a fold in the middle of our towel, between hands and feet. The point was to leave a certain amount of slack in the towel. It was pretty darn tough! We did the Suryas and Standing this way and I was sweating immediately trying to keep my bunched up mat from sliding into tautness and holding me there. I realized quickly that these are muscles I seldom use. Mat friction gets us away from core and bandha...and makes things easier than they could be. I am consoled a bit by my soft/smooth eQua towel which doesn't help me too much until my hands and feet start sweating.

Bhujapidasana - after his demo, I actually made it fully around my hands, touched down then hopped up to crossed feet once (got this tip from Skippetty)! Still can't jump in feet-free, but I was pretty thrilled...his demo was extremely helpful. The hips and legs don't need to go "high", the hips come "forward", legs then wrap around and "in". And you keep your head up and ignore the floor! I honestly think there's a shot of me getting this one day - never thought so before. One of J's senior-est students, who leads some of her beginner classes, jumped in today for the first time, pretty cool to witness! She was pretty casual about it (I envy her non-attachment) but I was nerdily thrilled on her behalf.

Chanting - we chanted while practicing! We had a mantra on the inhale and Om on the exhale. It was a really neat sound, but I found it extremely hard to vocalize on the inhale, ended up swallowing air and then got burpy. Real fun right around Mari C. Sorry if that's gross, it was even grosser to be me at the time. Breathing through the mouth is WEIRD. Remember how hard it was to do nasal breathing in the beginning? well it feels ten times weirder to mouth breathe now. He admitted after we finished that it is very difficult to manage the inhale-vocalization but it was a good exercise for us to try.

Eight Limbs - he talked about Ahimsa and vegetarianism and not using animal products. I felt guilty for eating meat.

He is extremely dynamic, and Joanne is the most darling lady (and funny!). His movement is really expressive, exceptional control over each limb and each small nuance of movement (not surprising, I suppose) almost like a dancer I guess. When he is making a point about something, his entire spine is involved in what he is talking about.

Every time I see someone who has practiced for that long, it reminds me that I need to do this until I die. That kind of vitality is extraordinary.


Helen said...

Great recount thanks for sharing. I remember having to practice on just a yogitoes in mysore as my friend had my mat, not sure why. Anyhow I found it really hard, never thought about why before.

Was this the last day? I love the last paragraph, the best. I feel like that when I meet teacher who have been practicing a long time too.

Grimmly said...

I've always sprayed my equa before practice but not anymore, can't wait to try this tomorrow. Want to try the mantra/om bit too.
Yes how many more days of the workshop, hope it's a week long but suspect it's just a weekend.

Do you have the Darby DVD, there's a little of it on Youtube i believe.

KMB said...

Hi Helen - actually today was the last day, I just posted on it! For me, I've only met a couple of really longtime practitioners (the other was David Williams) and they are the best reminder to get on the mat I think...can't ignore that spark, and want it when I grow up!

Hi Grimmly - it was hard! The crease in the towel is the main part...very very difficult to keep it from sliding out on the hardwood floor. The mantra he gave us was simple and tied to the chakras, he explained how each sound resonates with each chakra...I couldn't hear his explanation entirely but each syllable ended in "um" and there were six or seven syllables...I'm sure it would work with any mantra though, if it was the right length :-)

I saw one of his demos on youtube, will have a look for dvd clips...

Grimmly said...

In Ramaswami's book he has the old surynamaskara mantra form, a different mantra at every stage of the salutation. It's interesting, he has the chants on his webpage, one of my favourites

Helen said...


Would love to study with David Williams next year. Watched David Swensons Advanced series demonstration DVD on Friday night. Have you seen it? He practices with David Williams and four others. At the beginning there is a brief interview where they discuss their lifelong practice. As you say it is very inspiring. Just read last posting, thanks for sharing. Helen