Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tanya Boigenzham; Guest Instructor at Yoga North, April 18 and 19

I know I’ve gushed before about workshops, but I really can’t speak highly enough about them. You get to experience a different instructor, your practice will move to a new level and while they can be a lot of work (you are often doing more intense yoga in a couple of days than you would during a regular week), workshops are usually darn fun!

Photo from Yoga Cntr of Mpls

So it was with Tanya. She hails from Minneapolis where she teaches at the Yoga Center in Mpls and has her own Thai Yoga Massage business. Tanya did three sessions with us this weekend: Friday night was a walk through of the Primary Series concluding with yogi nidra. This state of alert relaxation can be difficult to do after a vigorous Ashtanga practice, which makes it an interesting practice. The body wants to drift into a state of light sleep but you must counter that with mindfulness. Often, easier said than done.

Saturday morning Tanya took ten of us through the first level of the Rocket Series. This series was developed by Larry Shultz, of It’s Yoga in San Francisco. Larry took the Ashtanga Series 1-3 and inter-mixed them to create a dynamic and challenging sequence. Think vinyasa flow with a strong ashtanga emphasis.

Yaowza! This was so much fun! We stretched and laughed and giggled our way through some incredibly challenging poses and felt stronger and inspired because of them. I told my students that we will continue to work on some of these starting next week…I guess I have my homework cut out for me!

Saturday afternoon Tanya worked on “Floating like a Butterfly”. For those of you not familiar with the Ashtanga sequence or a vinyasa flow, “floating” happens in several places during the Sun Salutations and vinyasas. The idea is you move with lightness and air as you “float back” from a forward fold to chataranga, and again when you come from down-dog into a forward fold. When on the floor moving through the vinyasas, you work towards “floating” from down-dog into your seated posture. This “floating” is a work in progress for many of us and to watch Tanya move so light and effortlessly was beautiful and inspiring to behold.

She also spent time working on our inversions. Inversions can be scary and fun at the same time, but not necessarily both to most people. We worked on peacock feather and hand stand and head stand and how to move safely and strongly into and out of the poses using our core and drishti to support and stabilize the asana. Speaking for myself, I have never felt as stable in my inversions as I did on Saturday.

So how do I feel on the day after? Pooped, refreshed, elated, excited and yes, a tich bit sore. How ‘bout anyone else who attended? Thoughts? Feedback?

Further information about Larry Shultz and the Rocket Series can be found here: It's Yoga

About Tanya Boigenzham can be found here:
and here: Yoga Center of Minneapolis


Celia said...

Hello! Nice blog, with meaningful and interesting content. About that floating from downward dog into seated posture, did you learn any techniques from Tanya? I can do it gracefully about half the time and can't seem to put my finger on how to do it seems just like luck! One thing is for sure, the more I try the better I become.

Kristin said...

Hi Celia,

Thanks for visting!

We practiced several techniques which included:
>focus your gaze on the floor between your hands, ie - where you want to go.
>really follow your breath
>bend into the knees to provide the lift to come forward
>practice with blocks to get the feel of the momentum and movement.

It's hard to put technique on paper!

But as you commented, it can all be summed up into:
> practice, practice, practice!