There comes a time in your practice when you might feel a need to break out of what you've been doing and try something different. This happened to me about two years ago - I went to a workshop by David Williams (I'll be discussing this Instructor in a coming post). It was an amazing experience, so unlike any previous practice. It's a bit liberating to be doing the primary series, your head down around your feet somewhere, following your breath (or trying to) and to hear the instructor from across the room declare, "We won't do headstand. I don't like headstand. Never have. Let's do handstand instead!"
This new found joy for different workshops inspired me to attend that year: Doug Swenson, David Swenson, and Manju Jois; and the following year, David Swenson again and Govinda.
The beauty of a workshop is you can take what you want and leave the rest. It's not about trying to learn everything they have to offer, but to learn and ingrain even one thing to make the weekend worthwhile. For example, my first experience with Manju's workshop was disappointing, but I figured had the opportunity to do the practice as guided by Pattabhi Jois son. I told myself I wasn't going to do that again, but lo! a year later I found myself back in the Cities at Manju's workshop here at the Yoga House.
It was fantastic! It helped that the workshop times were adjusted this year which accommodated not only what he wanted to teach and how he taught, but also the students. Friday night he did a modified primary series with no vinyasas (really! no vinyasas!) and a couple secondary series postures before moving into pranyama and chanting. And this year he provided sheets and translations for us non-sanscrit knowledgeable westerner's to follow. Saturday was the full primary, with a partial secondary, followed by pranyama and chanting. Incredible.
On Sunday I had the good fortune to meet with an acquaintance who I met in my classes and attend the yoga Studio she found after moving to the Cities. Sol Yoga Studio is located on Grand Ave and offers a wide variety of classes. We attended a morning Vinyasa Flow class that was fantastic! I cannot speak highly enough of the instructor, Jennifer . The classes was very mixed: two pregnant ladies, beginners to intermediate/advanced. She made the group feel comfortable, welcome and challenged every single person in the room at their appropriate level, and her adjustments were subtle and yet profound. Delightful way to start a Sunday.
So my recommendation is this: give workshops and different studios try. Sometimes something small will impact your practice in a profound way.