Sunday, July 17, 2005

Ashtanga A.M.: Vive Le Difference!

Well, today was the first day of the post-Mark era at Ashtanga Yoga Shala: Ashtanga After Mark. For most people there, I suppose it was "back to the way it used to be". For me, who came to the shala on the first day Mark was teaching classes, it was a strange new feeling, but enjoyable nevertheless. Mark is an awesome teacher, but Guy...well, he takes awesome to a new level, at least from what I can tell today. And Jose...well, Jose's adjustments of me in Marichi A
took my practice to a new level. What happened there Jose??? All of a sudden, you totally rock!

I was one of the first students to arrive. It was just me, the teachers, two moms (partners) and their baby girl. You heard that right. I walked into the practice room, and there was this baby - nursing on her mom's breast! Right there in the room. Her other mom was on the mat next to her, practicing serenely. Occasionally, during practice, Baby Girl cried out, and one of the moms comforted her. Even so, at least one of the moms was practicing at least part of Second Series.

Since I had to be uptown to teach my Intro class at New York Yoga by 10:20, I really had to to cook today. I went through my Suryas pretty quickly and nicely, and I felt smooth in the standing series - even Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana. What I did was hold the Ardha Padma part for a count of eight before even getting to the Baddha-tanasana part. I think I should rename the pose at this point to Ardha Padma Baddhatanasana because that is what it really is for me lately --- half lotus standing up, then bind and fold. Whatever. I am getting it. It is coming along, consistently, slowly but surely.

My jump backs and jump throughs were a bit tired. But that happens. Sunday mornings are tough.

So, my first Guy moment was Uttita Hasta Padangustasana, but that was your basic get the leg up high adjustment, although for the first time since I have been practicing Mysore style, my leg wasn't so high in the part where you take your leg off to the side (officially it is called Utthita Parsvasahita) that my hip started rolling up, and I think that is very very cool. My first Guy epiphany moment was in Prasarita Paddotanasana C. He gave me an adjustment that I have never gotten before - I can't even describe it because I have no idea what he did - he had at least one hand on my bound hands and some body part of his on my back. We got my head to the floor, and he was really pressing my hands lower and loser...I thought I was going to pass out. I was scared of my arms breaking, which seems kind of silly. That couldn't happen. That pose is going to teach me a LOT of lessons, I just know it - about trusting my body and trusting my teacher and letting go and surrendering..and who knows what else.

The girl next to me was getting loads and loads of teaching regarding the Surya Namaskars, and I was glad to note that I didn't. It's nice to move on....The girl on the OTHER side of me was....Mary-Beth!!! I was shocked to see her. And I was so shocked that I interrupted her invoking Patanjali to stage whisper her name. I felt so stupid. But I was happy to see her.

I already mentioned Jose's Marichi A adjustments. Wow. He just got me so so deep into Marichi A! I had a moment there of wishing that I didn't HAVE to be adjusted, but then I let that go. I can do Marichi A without help. B too. But when he puts me in it, it is so much better.

Guy's Marichi C and Marichi D adjustments made me want to cry....and to cry uncle. He totally focused on the twist, and not on the pulling my arms around me like wet spagetti. I love Mark's adjustments - but wow.....I think that what Guy is doing is going to really take me to the next level in these poses. At the same time, I felt like crying and screaming, "NO!!!!!!!! STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Just like in Prasarita Paddotanasana C. I had this urge to just say, "let's just call this whole thing off." But I kept going. And then it was done. And Guy walked away. Carry on.

Onto the beauty and relief of Navasana(am I one of the only people who feels this way???) And then the lightness of Bujapidasana and the openness of Kurmasana and Supta Kurmasana.

Well....I have to say, I just went a little hog-wild on the linking there in the previous paragraph, and as a result, I lost some of what came next in this blog entry. I think what I had said at the end was that I definitely see a difference in vibe at the shala, without Mark there, or rather, with Guy there. It is quiet and focused and not so jovial. But that's not a bad thing. Much as I enjoyed working with Mark, I think perhaps this is a good thing. Sometimes what we think we "like" or "enjoy" or just get a kick out of, is not always the best thing for us and will not bring us the most satisfaction in the long run....


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Copyright 2005-2007 Lauren Cahn, all rights reserved. Photos appearing on this blog may be subject to third party copyright ownership. You are free to link to this blog and portions hereof, but the use of any direct content requires the prior written consent of the author.

About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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