Sunday, May 16, 2010

Repost: Killing Yoga's Sacred Cows from Linda's Yoga Journey

Linda-Sama from Linda's Yoga Journey reposted this blog from Dec 2008. I had not yet discovered Linda at that time...actually, there's a good possibility I wasn't even yoga blogging then.

But having recently discovered Yin Yoga and Paul Grilly's DVD's, I loved this so much that I had to link/post it here. It really sum's up what I've been contemplating in my own practice and sessions. We are NOT the same. We will NEVER be the same.

On one end of the spectrum I have a 6'7" gentleman in my class with 4' long legs. Seriously. His legs alone are 4' long. On the other end of the spectrum I have a 5' gal who is so petite but with an incredibly tight back and hips. Simply no flexibility there. I have 20 year old college kids, 40 year old parents, 62 year old retired guys. You simply cannot convince me there is one pose that fits all.

Another reason this resonates with me is in the Ashtanga/Vinyasa tradition, because of the flowing nature of the practice, it's the flow that matters and less so the 'correctness' of the postures. There simply isn't time, nor is it appropriate to stop the flow and break something down. It is the nature of the practice that the body is supposed to find it's own place in the pose.

This isn't to say that a person shouldn't be safe in a posture! Safety first! I don't want someone to hurt themselves - if a simple correction or adjustment would be of benefit.

Please, take a moment and read this. Even if you don't agree with everything it has to say, it still has some great tidbits to take back to your practice. I'm going to print it out for my classes.

Killing Yoga's Sacred Cows

Thank you Linda!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bitter-Sweet Partings

I live, teach and practice in a college town - actually, we have four colleges in the area which always surprises me given the population of Duluth-Superior. It also means that we get a fair number of students passing through the studio. I love the energy and enthusiasm they bring - sharing what they are studying, places they've gone, hopes and plans for the future.

And for a brief moment in time, they share the road with us, and us with them.

But studies and tests and books eventually come to an end and it's always sad to hear their time with the group is up and they are moving on. Sometimes the member says something to the group and we're able to wish them well, other times, they just quietly drift away.

Either way, I'm glad they came and wish each of them well in their future endeavors!

LOKAH SAMASTA SUKHINO BHAVANTU :: May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.

(from Shiny Yoga's site, but a far older quote than that!)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Gita Talk on Elephant Journal: Introduction

As I mentioned in my previous post, Bob Weisenburg over on Elephant Journal has initiated an online discussion of the Bhagavad Gita. They are reading the Stephan Mitchell version of the Gita and have just started discussing the introduction.

I have the Eknath Eswaran version (two copies) and didn't wish to purchase a third copy. Which means my introduction is much much different. But that's okay. The important thing is the discussion.

I read the Gita for the first time several years ago as part of a workshop held through my local yoga studio (ha! L Y S! except that also stands for Local Yarn Store in my world...) WHY? read the Bhagavad Gita? If you are a practitioner of yoga and are looking to move beyond the asana practice, I think this is a great place to start. The Gita really distills what it means to practice yoga beyond the mat in layman's terms. It's not a long text or document, but it really conveys some very profound concepts.

I'm looking forward to the ongoing discussions; please join in if you can.