Thursday, July 28, 2011

Matthew Sweeney Workshop Review July 22-24, 2011

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a workshop at the Yoga House of Edina (link is on the left sidebar) as lead by Matthew Sweeney. This is the third time I’ve attended one of his sessions and this one was probably the best one yet. They all follow a similar format – Fridays are always the Moon Sequence, then the weekends are a combination of practice and technique.

I didn't take as many notes as I usually do.  This was a session for me to just soak in. 

For a more in-depth breakdown of each of these follow the links to previous postings
July 2008 - Chandra Vinyasa
July 2008 - Primary Series; Jump Thru/Jump Back
July 2008 - Secondary Series/Inversions
July 2009 - Overview

Friday – 6:30-9:00p Chandra Vinyasa (restorative vinyasa flow). Done on Friday evenings to mimic the body’s natural tendency to want to start ‘slowing down’ in preparation for the evening and to save some energy for the upcoming weekend. A great sequence for Ashtangi’s and vinyasa folks alike.

Saturday 9:30a-12:00p – Primary Series. Very thoughtfully done with explanations and guidance on some variations to some of the poses.

Saturday 2:00p-5:00p – Jump thru, jump backs. Whoo. Amazing how these two things can take three hours to breakdown and explain and practice. Kinda depressing too, to realize how little abdominal and shoulder strength I have to execute some of these components.

Sunday – 9:30a-12:00p – Intro to Secondary Series. An introduction only, because “technically” and “traditionally” Secondary series is not to be practiced unless the individual can do a dropback and a pop-up unassisted. This was one of the best intros to Secondary that I have yet attended. Again, very methodical instruction, great breakdown and explanation of the postures and sequencing, and incorporated Saturday afternoon’s technique.

Sunday afternoon was back bending, but I couldn’t attend. Needed to pick my pups up from the kennel by 5p and I was looking at a three hour drive. 

Everytime I go to one of his workshops, I pick up another nugget to take back with me. There is usually so much being thrown at you, as a student, in these indepth weekends that after a while the brain really does turn to mush.  In a good way. 

My only complaint with the weekend was the studio owner refused to turn on the air circulation and so 40 of us were practicing in a small room that easily hit 85* (29.5*C) and the same in humidity. It was stifling. The air was so heavy as to be almost suffocating. I don’t mind practicing in a warm room, but my goodness, keep the air flow fresh! It was honestly cooler outside, and outside was 80*+ (26*+C) because the sign down the street said so! And if I wanted to do Bikram, I would. Ashtanga is not Bikram…  Seriously, everyone was sweating just sitting. 

So if you ever have a chance to attend a session with Matthew Sweeney – GO! GO! GO! It will be a challenging session or weekend, but so very, very informative.  And hopefully your studio will be more moderate in temperature and airflow...

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