Thursday, February 09, 2006

I still suck

but less than yesterday. Or maybe I don't suck at all. Maybe it's just a momentary Mari D thang going on. Everything that was good about my practice yesterday was good about my practice today - and that was despite the fact that it was a led class. For now, Thursdays are my led days. I say "for now" because this will be true for as long as I am still teaching my 10:00 a.m. vinyasa class at Yoga Sutra. Sadly, all the 10 a.m. classes are being taken off schedule as of March as there just aren't reliably enough people there at that time on the weekday to justify a 90 minute class. They're looking for another time slot for me. But in the meantime, we may move my Yoga For Breast Cancer class to 10 a.m. and see what happens...stay tuned...

All of which reminds me: I had an interesting teaching/practicing breakthrough today. I had only one student in my class, and she wanted me to help her to open up her lower back and to work with her on her binds. So we agreed to do a modified half led primary, and what was so cool about it is that although it was basically half of the Primary Series, I also tailored it very much to suit my student's needs, holding certain poses for longer than others, working on building up heat in a very specific way in the Sun Salutations - by gradually eliminating the rests in downward facing dog and eventually eliminating everything other than the jump backs and jump forwards. Sounds radical, I know, but this particular student had major fear issues in jumping forward from downward facing dog, as reflected in her rather unbalanced landings. By eliminating the time in which she was able to think and plan, she simply jumped forward, landing softly and evenly on both feet.

Anyway, after class, I was asked if I could sub a led Primary Series class.

I said no.


Yeah, me too. The more I know about the Primary Series, the more I realize I have to learn about it. While I feel comfortable teaching the first half in a vinyasa setting, such as today's, teaching a led class to a group of students who expect a traditional class given by a Mysore-educated teacher...well, that just aint me. Not for now. At least not at Yoga Sutra, where I feel like there is such a high level of integrity, and I would not want to compromise it. At New York Yoga, it was a different story. There was no expectation from anyone of anything truly traditional. And that's pretty much why there IS no Ashtanga at New York Yoga anymore.

But I digress.

My teaching situation is in a very weird place now. I teach vinyasa, but I don't practice it. And as for teaching it, I am barely doing so at this point. I am very picky about when and where I will teach these days, since I know that teaching can be very enervating for me - 90 minutes of improvisational sequencing and extemporaneous talking, very physical adjustments. I won't teach nighttime classes anymore, so I had to say no to an offer (from a gym, which pays nicely) for a Thursday evening class. I won't teach on weekends anymore, so I had to tell Yoga Sutra I can't take on a new Saturday class they are planning. I don't mind subbing evenings and weekends, but at this point, I need to prioritize...Adam has a LOT of homework, and it is very interactive. My kids are in sports leagues 10 months of the year, and the other two months we are often out and about on the weekends. So, how exactly do working moms DO IT???? (the endless refrain....)

As for weekday daytime classes, well, they can't interfere with my Ashtanga practice on any regular basis. And the ones I have taught never seem to have any shakti to them on any consistent basis. I have fantasized about opening my own teeny little studio up here on the Upper East Side, but I wouldn't want to teach except during the day, and not first thing in the morning because of my own practice. Any vinyasa teachers out there who want to teach at night who would consider a partnership? I say that only half-jokingly.

Anyway, I know I am blessed because I don't have to make a living from this. Thank you, God.



ciodude said...

I like your prioritization and reasoning. :) Good luck and God's speed.

Anonymous said...

try not to concern yourself with day to day practice stuff. if you focus on the minutae, you'll stay there.

Anonymous said...

try not to concern yourself with day to day practice stuff. if you focus on the minutae, you'll stay there.

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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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