This morning began a little after 6. I did some simple exercises on the patio as the sky got lighter. It is hard to complain about the lifestyle here. The weather is warm, the ocean and the sky are beautiful.
We seem to be hitting our stride with Tony. The group is becoming more familiar with each other, so the discussion is flowing more freely. Tony seems more comfortable and more fluid, moving from topic to topic and addressing everyone's issues, concerns, questions and a whole lot more.
This morning's 'short series' includes all of the so-called "advanced postures," with the Bow Leg, Tortoise, Plough, Full, Peacock, Headstand, Tiger and Handstand sequences. It is nice to get to the advanced postures with more energy and strength. And with class this afternoon, it means we will get to do them all for a second time today.
He shows us the second step of Nauli, engaging the sides of the abdomen separately. Discussion comes around to Hell-Bent, Bikram and other dramas of this yoga community. Sometimes it seems like a better idea to just ignore the crap and focus on what is important. We put so much energy into discussing the flambouyant and frustrating. Perhaps it is our way of sifting out the meaningful tidbits, working our way toward the truth and a good direction. On the other hand, perhaps it is our way of avoiding important questions, like 'what do YOU think is the best way to practice, or teach, or build a community? Will you stand by it? Fight for it? Or just criticize those who have tried.'
This afternoon we begin with a lengthy discussion about alignment in Life Pose that turns into a discussion of history, competition, art and the purpose of yoga.
Our afternoon practice of the Complete Series begins with a few qi gong exercises. They are so calming and grounding, very beneficial to the yoga practice. It all goes well. The Complete 84 doesn't feel like an over-long terror anymore. It is starting to feel normal and even peaceful.
Only bad part about today is that my right knee continues to bug me. I have to back off of many postures that twist the knee. A blow to the ego, but the right decision for the health of my body.
This journal honors my ongoing experience with the practice, study and teaching of yoga.
1) Sridaiva Yoga: Good Intention But Imbalanced
2) Understanding Chair Posture
2) Why I Don't Use Sanskrit or Say Namaste
3) The Meaningless Drudgery of Physical Yoga
5) Beyond Bikram: Why This Is a Great Time For Ghosh Yoga