Saturday, January 04, 2014

Don't Forget to Breathe

The aptly named Kukutasana
Taking a break from art, art, art, let's talk yoga.

This year also looks full and fun on the yoga front.  My plan is to apply to a three-year yoga therapy training course that will begin in June.  After teaching group classes for several years, I repeatedly find myself feeling frustrated at how often my biggest goal is to simply not hurt anyone.  Frankly, group classes are not a good way to teach yoga - at all.  I have had experiences where the class consists of a woman in her last trimester of pregnancy, a 30 yo guy, a 50 yo woman and a smattering of mostly healthy 30+ yo women but each with enough varieties of needs to make the whole thing a farce.  What exactly am I supposed to "teach" a group like that?  What makes it extra challenging is that I see the disappointed looks on their faces when we don't do some crazy, amped up power yoga flow thing but instead spend some real time actually connecting with our breath, extending it and (get this!), slowing down.

New Yorkers don't like that very much.  But we need it, darlings.  We need it.

Yet, as a fellow Desikachar teacher once said, (the student) did a great job rolling her eyes to her breath.  I often see this reaction too.  What people don't realize is that doing, say, a sun salutation where each movement is done with an eight-second inhale or exhale is kicking your butt in a very different, much more challenging way.  Or, even more, that NOT having your butt kicked and allowing the practice to be gentle can be the most challenging yoga practice ever...she says from hard-earned experience...

So, yes, yoga therapy.  It will be a training that will allow me to work 1:1 with people with specific (or vague) issues, both physical and mental.  It is very comprehensive program lead by three amazing people with decades of experience between them and all of them are/were personal students of Mr. Desikachar.

I do have my own 2014 asana resolutions although I know I am at the risk of negating almost everything I said above by even mentioning them.  Last year, as you may remember, my goal was to conquer kukutasana.  As it turned out, it was not so difficult.  I still need at least two tries to get up into the arm balance but that's ok.  It feels pretty strong.  My goal for this year is to stand up from my drop backs.  Ever, ever so slowly, I am beginning to see that it might be possible.  Still, as one of the other Mysore students said one morning, I fully expect to hear the finale of the William Tell Overture if/when it ever happens.

And if it doesn't....that's fine too.

Advice about this from Kino.



Stranger things have happened!

1 comment:

Patti Blaine said...

May I be one of your 1:1s? :) xoxo