End of day 2 and all I can say is that I’m grateful this confluence is only 3 days long!!! I need another weekend away to process all the golden nuggets I’ve gotten. Today’s most profound things I learned:
1. As a student, I’m rediscovering that it’s not the teacher’s fault that I didn’t have a good practice. Yes, to some extent, the teacher sets the tone, but ultimately it’s my own practice and I am the person in control of my own practice. I saw where I let external factors control the outcome of my practice and I could see where I let external forces (i.e. people, situations, even the weather, etc) dictate my outcome and even my happinesss.
2. It is really about the breath. The answer to all your problems lies at the root of how you are breathing.
3. True freedom is not about doing what you want, whenever you want, however you want.
4. We really are more alike than different. The concept of ONENESS makes more sense now. We really are one with every living person, creature, and cell in the world.
I’ll have to expand on the above in another post but my most favorite one that made the highlight of my day:
5. Be lazy like cats as David Swenson pointed out in the Flying, Floating, and Handstanding workshop. Watch how cats move. They use the “lazy” method… meaning they engage just enough to move and then immediately relax… giving them the sluggish, lurking around type movement.
Why would you want to be lazy in asana? Next time you’re in a pose, become aware of how you engage your body. Notice how you might be all tense with too much contraction and trying to hard. This type of engagement doesn’t give you much room to relax. Isn’t this what we came to yoga for? David’s suggestion is simple: activate and then let it go. Activate where necessary and relax when possible. It becomes a continuous “vinyasa” within the holding of the posture. Activate then relax, activate then relax.. a true concept of stira-sukha concept (strength-ease). Eventually after several cycles of activate-relax, we get to a spot where the whole body is at ease but yet strong and grounded. What becomes apparent is the body and the self is breathing so peacefully.
One can practice Ashtanga and be at peace… who knew!?!! I absolutely love David and have found my next teacher that I want to study with. He has a ridiculously funny sense of humor, practicality and simplicity that makes the whole practice of Ashtanga pleasant and enjoyable. I’ll share more on what I learned from David in future posts. There’s too many to list here.
After today’s workshop with David, I feel like I’m floating on cloud nine even though I might not be able to float and jump like he does. I’m feeling so lucky to have had some one-on-one time with him. Check it out:
Now to practice, practice, practice… because practice makes possible. Jump back quick tips: cross higher at mid shins not ankles, flex feet, push into hands, top leg pushes back to create momentum (bottom leg relaxes — the concept of active-relax), look down and back to start and then up to end, you don’t need to lift that high off the ground in order to jump back successfully, and finally (my favorite).. bandhas help but they’re not the main reason why you can or can’t jump back and it’s definitely not about your arm length.
Oh and can you believe he walked by my group I was working with and farted on us. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow and will jump thru with straight legs after being blessed by David’s fart. LOL