Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Yay, I'm feeling human again! That was a two week period I wouldn't want to repeat, thanks very much. I didn't really practice for about two weeks - twice I came in and did the poses in a semi-heated room before I taught, that's about it. I was so dehydrated I could just teach. A week ago Monday I sat down during savasana and was woozy when I stood up!

Enough about that. It's over, and I'm nourishing myself. Thank you for all your kind well-wishes!

Last Friday was such a beautiful day. It was the first day I was feeling well enough to practice along with teaching so I popped in Bikram's CD and cranked the heat. I love practicing with him. It's a good thing, because the warm-ish weather is here and that means I can officially re-open my yoga closet for business. But I digress. On Friday, it was sunny and in the 70s and people did not come to the 4pm class! Two people showed up. Having just practiced myself, I did not opt to lead a silent class which I am allowed to do with a super small class size and experienced students.

Instead, I did a private lesson! We worked through the poses, practicing and talking about them, mostly answering the two experienced students' questions. It was so much fun. In Bikram teaching, you're getting a large group of people through a series of a LOT of poses interspersed with rest periods. There's not a lot of room for conversation, you know? You get them in, you get them out, you get them through the postures and make sure everyone is doing class safely first and foremost, and getting maximum medical benefit.

With two people, who I know pretty well, it was so nice to be able to answer questions and give them more than a quick line of feedback on the posture. I found a VERY strange thing - both students were hardly if at all touching their head to the floor in rabbit. Now I know that the point of that posture is not to press your head into the floor or create any additional pressure in the neck. I'm not advocating that AT ALL. But you do place the top of your head on the floor (hopefully after touching your forehead to the knees.) Dialogue does not say "lightly pressing" - it says put your head on the floor. It's just the way the pose is done. Don't turn your neck, don't push into the floor, and use your arms/hand grip as leverage to lift the hips up. A fabulous thing to get to do in a private lesson is to really look at warrior II precursor to triangle in the mirror, encouraging the students to SIT DOWN. You can say it a million times in class but still you've got to move on if they don't and you've got like close to 30 people in the room.

I remember Lynn Whitlow telling us at the end of training - don't even try to correct their triangles for the first few months. You'll get overwhelmed/bogged down. It's really true.

Anyway it was very interesting. I'm trying to get more students interested in a RARE thing happening in June - a posture clinic with a senior teacher in my rural area!

Another fun yoga happening in my life is that last week (during my sickness unfortunately) I was on the road three days giving presentations for wellness (for my day job) and TEACHING YOGA ON SITE! First official classes! Did some breathing work and gentle stretching with the groups, and I'm doing another workshop this week as well. Definitely butterflies-and-rainbow yoga but you have to start somewhere accessible at the worksite.

I'm heading down to the Yoga Journal conference in Boston this weekend to see a teacher who absolutely inspires me - Gary Kraftsow, the leader of the Viniyoga yoga style of yoga therapy. So interesting - on the one hand, I love the universal healing appeal of the Bikram series. On the other hand I love this Viniyoga, and teaching individually, yoga therapy, etc:

Yoga provides the means to bring out the best in each individual. This requires an understanding of a person's present condition, personal potential, appropriate goals and the means available. As each person is different, these will vary with each individual.

Viniyoga™ is an ancient Sanskrit term that implies differentiation, adaptation, and appropriate application. As a style of practice, Viniyoga™ refers to an approach to Yoga that adapts the various means and methods of practice to the unique condition, needs and interests of the individual. As a result, each practitioner is given the tools to individualize and actualize the process of self-discovery and personal transformation.

The Viniyoga™ approach evolved out of the teachings transmitted by T. Krishnamacharya and T.K.V. Desikachar of Chennai, India.

-from viniyoga website

Anyway I'm very excited! Should be fun.

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