Friday, April 16, 2010

My Yoga Year so far

Because I'm a geek with a notebook (see 2/21/10 post for TMI), I keep pretty good track of my practices, the who and what and how long, and of course take notes in class. Over a peaceful solo sushi lunch yesterday, I had the great pleasure of re-reading my scribbles since January 1. Amazing teachers and amazing lessons!

January, on into March:
Kicked off the year and turned up the tapasya with Laura Christensen on New Year's Day, poses in 20s and 10s to celebrate the new year + one-minute handstands. Over the next months, we worked our way through the Austerities, keeping the fire of intention alive and smokin'. Such good times: regular classes, start-up of Sunday morning advanced Rock Your Chit playtime on the mat, a tremendous three-hour shoulder workshop, a yoga benefit for Haiti. Wow, so glad to be a part of this kula: so much love and friendship and fun.

February: Spent a week at Immersion led by John Friend, followed by weekend workshops. That week blew my mind. Here are a couple of my favorite bits from the pages and pages of notes I took:
The dharma of embodied life includes becoming more cultivated and involved, more skilled at being a poet of life, this ever-unfolding game of expanding consciousness.
Every experience, including those practices that are challenging, can be used as a gateway. Challenges are opportunities for awakening. Use everything for awakening. Every moment is a gateway to the heart.
Literally, I came away from those 7 consecutive days of practice with John and with the expanded kula completely on Cloud 9, just so happy and aware of being in exactly the right place, right in the center, right where I belong. Aaaaaah.

Hit the road with Laura and other members of our home-kula, for a series of great workshops at Tahoe Yoga and Wellness Center in Truckee. In class we reviewed the austerities and started in on the malas. We stayed in the lovely home of our dear Diana, played in the snow, had some long, sweet practices in a gorgeous studio, made new friends, played ping pong, generally just reveled in beauty and love all weekend long. I spent most of that weekend in a state of utter delight, just so amazed at the bounty life brings. No malas on me!

April: On April 1st, Laura started her Shri Series, a 7-week course that dives deep into the Principles of Alignment. It's been my enormous pleasure to arrive early, open the room, set up the puja, greet and check in my fellow students. And we really are diving deep, going back to the basics, the fundamentals. All of which is making my practice so much more solid.

Also this month Darren Rhodes was in the Bay Area again, so for the third year in a row, I went to Yoga Kula in the Mission for a weekend and played with the big kids. This year's theme "Kali Kick-Asana" certainly kicked my asana. I loved being with the larger kula, having Trixie and Laura right next to me in class, and being blown away by the poses Sianna and Darren led us through. There's something so fun about just trying things, even crazy things like some of the toes curled-under poses we were asked to do, like we're on the playground daring each other to jump off the monkey bars, higher, higher, higher!

Outside of class it continues to be my concerted project to incorporate what I'm learning on the mat into the rest of where I spend my time, mostly into the office where I spent too many hours each week. The inspiration of these great teachers and friends and practices is with me throughout all of those long hours away, and really is changing how I move and talk and operate. At the same time, it's also true that the more yoga I do, the more commitment I bring to my practice, the more time with my friends doing what I love, the less I want to spend time doing what I precisely don't love -- all of which, if I remain aware, keeps that blaze of tapasya burning hot. It's a delightful unfolding, really, and so gratifying: the more I practice, the more practiced I become, the more skilled, the more devoted, all of that More squeezing out the other stuff, the stuff I'm not crazy about. So, big lesson for me: to change your life, just change your life. Like awakening, it doesn't have to come after a lifetime of sitting under a banyan tree. It comes at every moment, at any moment, when I just do what I love: plug in, delight, jump around.


Ginger Coy said...

I enjoyed your post today! Nice quotes from John too.

Blasé said...

Sounds like you are off to a good start!