I had an absolutely amazing weekend! I attended an Anusara Weekend and Teacher Training at the Yoga Center of Minneapolis, plus got to visit family and friends. With the exception of Friday where it rained all day, the weather was beautiful. I have never been to an Anusara session, so when this opportunity presented itself and all the factors aligned (the price was right, the weekend was open) I signed up and went. I’m so glad I did! I was able to visit with the sister, I met a facinating gal from Grand Marias and her rescue dog Sheeba, and had lunch on Sunday with another gal I met at a different workshop this summer.
The instructor for the weekend was Christy Burnette, a Certified Anusara Teacher and Director of Yoga Education of Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, Tempe, Arizona. She has trained with John Friend since 1991. Among the first to be certified in Anusara, she is an inspired interpreter of Anusara’s language of the heart and clearly illuminates the complexities of the Universal Principles of Alignment.
Right now my brain is on a bit of info overload and I’m still trying to process everything. I’ll try and be succinct. Full weekend overview – excellent! A lot of technique, how to approach poses from different planes, working from the core out. Criticism (and nothing here would prevent me from attending another session) we never really did a ‘session’ so I’m still wondering how a typical Anusara class is structured and because we never really did a ‘session’ I never felt like I was warmed up. We’d ground and center and move for maybe ten – fifteen minutes tops then right into technique demonstrations and partner work.
Christy stated at one point that if your body is in alignment then you don’t need to be warmed up to move into the poses. I had to disagree with this one – I need to awaken my body a bit more before moving into poses. Especially at workshop weekends where I’m sleeping in a strange bed, putting in longer more intensive hours and spending more time in a car than I usually would. In addition, living in Northern MN where it’s damn chilly 6 months out of the year makes for tight muscles coming into class.
Friday Night: The Passion of Practice (2 hours)
Discussion on what Anusara is – Attitude, Alignment and Action. How to let go of expectations. Focus on the exhale to soften the pose; inhale can overwork the posture and we’re conditioned to do a good inhale. Keep the palette soft by swallowing.
Overall a good session. I didn’t leave “buzzing” and unable to sleep which I greatly appreciated.
Saturday A.M.: Focused Action – Standing Poses, Hip Openers, Balance Poses (3 hours)
Discussion on Five Aspects to Anusara – Open to Grace, Muscular Energy, Inner Spiral, Outer Spiral, Organic Extension. I loved these quotes: The answers you have for your practice are already inside you and, There is a difference between setting a goal and setting an intention for your practice.
And lots more technique focusing on hips and legs.
Saturday P.M.: Reading the Body for Alignment (2 hours)
Included a more in-depth explanation of Five Aspects of Anusara and how they relate to one another and discussion on how to find a way for everyone to the pose by moving the pose into a different plane. More technique.
Sunday A.M.: Focused Action – Back Bends, Inversions (3 hours)
Lots of focus on the shoulders and shoulder blades this morning. We did technique work then moved into partner work – backbends on a chair, headstand between chairs, bow pose with a partner, downdog with a partner. The spot between my shoulder blades is feeling this so I know I was working the right area and staying out of the lower back.
The next workshop I'm going to will be a Power Yoga session from the Yoga Center of Minneapolis in March as led by Bryan Kest.