Sometimes, I'll just have this realization that I am so effing lucky to be alive. We all are, right? But I feel sometimes that there but for the grace of God go I. And by grace of God, I mean to use a cliche, and I do not mean it literally, except a little part of me does.
It's a beautiful day, a new moon, my trees are all planted, my rock paths are pretty much "set in stone", all of the perennials that I was planning to plant this year (it's a many-yeared project) are planted, the annuals I planted from seed are coming up (zinnias) or have already bloomed (short sunflowers galore, plus sweet pea, my plum tomatoes have popped.
What's left is for the compost to finish cooking so that I can amend the soil in the woodland garden for next year's plantings. Whoevever said it takes as little as a few weeks was totally lying. I have composted in three different ways, and none of them is there yet. One of them is still cooking since being put together last year, in a commercial bin no less. My guess is that the quickest cook will be the ones that are in open-topped piles, enclosed in fencing. They seem to get the hottest.
Today, no practice. Yesterday's was great. Touched each toe, but couldn't keep the left while holding the right. In any event the Good Doc says that I'm where I should be in Kapo and all is well.
Eka Pada is fun, but still not happening without either my hand assisting or the assistance of the Good Doc. I am far better with the two-legged Leg-Behind-Headers, at this rate, NOT that I practice them. Ha. Even the Good Doc knows that I do.
Anyone who wants to practice in the EARLY traditional style, the style in which David Williams was taught, should make the pilgrimage up to New York Yoga on York and 86th to see Christopher. There is a LOT to be said for being taught slowly and methodically and not getting Supta K before binding in Mari D on your own, yes. But there is ALSO something to be said for practicing ALL of Primary EVERY day and gradually opening it ALL and building up stamina and burning off more energy and, finally, and I think this is really important: doing ALL of the Yoga Therapy that is Yoga Chikitsa.
There's always more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak, and apologies to PETA. But if you are someone who is inclined to want to be given a LOT to work with and to be EXPECTED to EXPECT to progress (whining, "I can't" is frowned upon), then go see Christopher.
Which reminds me - there is a SUPERSTAR Ashtanga Intensive (my description, not their's) at Ashtanga Yoga Shala in the East Village that I want to tell everyone about. It begins August 2nd, and the faculty are as follows:
Lori Brungard - can't say enough beautiful things about her. If you are into talking about asanas and thinking about asanas and breaking down asanas, then you need to take a workshop with Lori. I've taken her Primary Series In Depth Workshop, and as a result, at least one vritti is wiped away from my practice: I know the vinyasas cold. I never ever have to think about what comes when and which breath goes with which movement. Lori helped me make sense of it. She also gave incredible physical adjustments and anatomical explanations. I'm even quoted on the website gushing...
Christopher Hildebrandt - The Good Doctor will be doing what no one can do so well: teaching Sanskrit, Mantras and Meaning. In his words, because mine would never suffice:
The breath, so central to yoga practice, is expressed through sound. The sounds of Sanskrit are elemental and pure, and create vibrations that help us to purify speech, body, and mind. When seen in this way, Sanskrit is an important key to the ultimate goal of yoga practice, the unification of body and mind through the vehicle of the breath.
Tristhana, the three important elements of Ashtanga Vinyasa, or breath, asana, and drishti, also correspond to these three purifications. In this course, we will learn the sounds of Sanskrit, how to use them to pronounce correctly and decipher the Ashtanga Mantras, counting, and asana names. The course is open to anyone.
He is also teaching Ashtanga Yoga Philosophy.
Petri Raisanen: Adjustment Workshop - I practiced with Petri for several months at a time, several times. You can read about him on my blog - just put him into the search box. He's awesome and with that impish glint in his eye, his energy is infectuous. I adored learning adjustments from Guy, and I can only say good things, but I have to say that it would have been awesome to have had Petri there as well. He gives amazing
Sarah Plumer: One of my first teachers ever. She was as patient as patient gets, as I pushed her and prodded her to get her to let me do what was not to be done at her shala (Eddie Stern's shala, really), which was to practice all of Primary without really mastering any of it. Sure, she could have let me do what my ego wanted, but she patiently taught me "why not". And apparently her knowledge of anatomy, wrought from a dance background before the yoga, is incomparable.
Jessica Blanchard and Jenny Meyer, I do not know, but apparently their reputations are stellar. And Lisa Schrempp is doing Ayurvedic Consultations!
You can take the modules together for a 200 Hour Certification, which will be acknowledged anywhere you want to practice yoga (except, presumably at a shala that only hires AYRI authorized teachers), or you can take it in bits and pieces, as I intend to do this summer.
See you there?