Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Exciting Opportunities Abound.

So much has happened in my mind in the past few days that it's hard to stop and write! I feel this urgency and excitement about my life, about yoga, about the world. It is very exciting - but I am committing to taking some time to just be this afternoon... just be. Don't do, just be! And maybe work in the garden when my hubby gets home.

The report - I missed the Saturday morning class I was going to go to - we arrived and it was full. However it was so beautiful in Boston on Saturday! We walked around looking at the yellow forsythia and beautiful pink (insert proper flower name here). Trees were blossoming, row houses with brick sidewalks, blue sky. I had great fun with my friends from boarding school who live in Boston.

Sunday was the conference. My first class was a kundalini workshop. It's so very different from all the other styles of yoga I've done. I find the chanting a little daunting but easier to do in a group setting (where we're all doing this weird stuff). I have some kundalini videos at home and I'm never bold enough to make the SAT-nam vocalizations as strongly as I learned they are meant to be made. Kundalini yoga is all about moving energy up the spine. Find it, open things up get them moving, and move it up the spine.

Rapid spinal flexion with powerful short breaths was the warm up... and the exercise of Sat Kriya for six minutes was extremely challenging and fired up my body. I won't get into how to do it here but you can read about it if you like http://kundaliniyogabootcamp.com/sat-kriya/. There was music and chanting and by the end of class I had a huge grin on my face. I have tons of respect for anyone who does Sat Kriya for many minutes each morning. It's something I would like to incorporate. So much yoga to do!

Gary Kraftsow taught two workshops and I attended them both. The first was upper back, neck and shoulders work and the second was lower back, hips and sacrum. I have been inspired by his teachings for so long that I was pleased to get right up front in both classes to learn as much as I could, to try to get a feel for him as a person, not just a teacher at a conference. I admire his quiet demeanor and quiet demands of excellence of the students. His cues are made up of completely non-metaphorical language. This is because much of the work he's done with the American Viniyoga Institute is aimed toward creating evidence based practice. Meaning, they apply for funding to study back pain, COPD, GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), etc. They have protocols written up in medical journals.

It was amazing to me to feel my whole life dovetail around what I learned. The practices were deep and profound while appearing un-yogic and un-fancy - no fancy standing bow pose here. The work is extremely accessible to people of all physical abilities. And it can be ratcheted up with mental effort to be challenging indeed. This work is so inspiring to me personally. It is the absolute opposite of Bikram. And... it's PERFECT for teaching in the workplace. I am quite excited to pick up Gary's DVD http://www.amazon.com/Viniyoga-Therapy-Back-Sacrum-Kraftsow/dp/B000U0C9UE and start teaching some of the sequences here that are scientifically proven to help back pain.

I found a second series to Bikram that has been scientifically proven to help with back pain, basically. And this is one I can take on the road to all types of people, not just those who enter a Bikram studio of their own volition. I have so much excitement about this, about my practice (started this morning!) and about bringing Viniyoga to my rural community. I went up to Gary with a bright shining face at the end of a long day and introduced myself and told him I can't wait to come study with him. I felt that he felt my enthusiasm.

Lastly, I found a scholarship opportunity to a viniyoga teacher training in BALI(!) in August. I am quite looking forward to applying. Yogatrex.net if you're interested in trying it out. I'm wanting and intending to be in Bali in August. My application has come together in my mind and soon shall be on paper. I hope to be an enthusiastic brand ambassador for the training.



Yolk E said...

WoW! That is quite an array of activity, Ariella. Thank you for your insight on Kundalini--its purpose and how it can help. That kriya exercise seems intimidating but needed! I am going to look into that.

ariella said...

If you sit down and do it... it's seriously hardcore. I'm going to try to do it for 3 minutes each morning. That's a not-too-hard amount of time.