Monday, April 26, 2010

Empty class

I have signed on with the Shunnya centre on Beechwood to teach prenatal yoga on Sunday mornings.  The Shunnya centre is a lovely sunny bright space that promotes relaxation.  As well, they like to focus on creating community which I think is great.  So many people come to yoga, they do their asanas and then they leave.  Never greeting or talking to anyone in their class - a simple namaste can go a long way.  A space to share in a sense of community is so rare now a days.

The last two weeks I have baked a lovely treat to share after class.  Gone to the centre, set up my room, made some tea, put on some music, and have had no students.  My husband seems very frustrated with this.  He feels that if I am going to be spending time away from the family that I should be earning a pay check.  I feel a bit torn.  On the one hand he is right as our family time is very limited.  On the other hand I quite enjoy having such a wonderful space to have a very long and leisurely practice and meditation.  I love practicing in the morning but with the three little ones I have not been able to do that.  This gives me a once a week practice time in the morning that I do not usually have.

The owner of the centre gives a class 4 weeks to determine if it is going to be a success.  I have half a mind to request longer just so I can enjoy the space.  A space free of clutter, children and noise.  This space gives me time to fully explore my personal practice as well as create new sessions for upcoming classes that I teach elsewhere.  I even thought to myself that I would pay her to rent the space for the hour and a half if she would let me so that I could keep using it.  Have it be an open practice space that I use and if anyone feels like joining in they are free to do so.  Hum  I think I have an idea there!

Cheers to space,
Namaste (Have a nice day).

Friday, April 23, 2010

Not very yogic.

This week was a break from my regular teaching schedule where I had a Thursday night off.  I love this as I normally attend my favorite yoga class with Kat.  Last night was no different a free Thursday and off I went.  The class was peppered with yoga teachers from my teacher training and some of their friends as well.

In walked another yoga teacher as the class was filling up and it was getting packed.  She asked a group of women to move their mats over a few inches so that she could fit in.  They refused and said "let the teacher handle it".  Their attitude was a bit harsh as well.  I mean obviously there was not much room left in the class and there were more people coming.  I thought are you five years old and need an adult to tell you what to do.  What the heck...?  The woman looking for more space gave up and went somewhere else.  Sure enough the room got fuller, Kat returned, and these women had to move. 

I was thinking where is the lesson here?  Aparigraha maybe?  Perhaps these women were so very attached to the spot that they picked and with being beside each other, that the thought of moving was scary?  Tapas?  Maybe they had a burning desire to be in the very spot that they had chosen so that moving inches would throw their practice off completely?  Who knows, all I saw was three very rude women who were probably only into the asana part of yoga and weren't beyond that yet.

I also thought back to some of the things I have heard other yoga teachers talk about, like for instance the fact that yoga mats are a fairly new phenomenon (if you can call it a phenomenon).  Historically people would practice in a place and that personal space was all that mattered.  I wonder what would happen if a teacher asked all the students to roll up their mats and practice on the floor?  Anarchy in the yoga studio I am sure!  I sometimes practice at home without a mat under me and I do find it freeing.  I am not confined to the four corners of my mat.  I return to the front of my space instead of my mat.  I practice all around my room and am not concerned with where I was last time or where I am now, I just am.

I wonder if these three women read my blog.  If not they should and maybe they might try practicing in their own space and not be overly concerned with the placement of their mat.

Hari Om,

Friday, April 16, 2010

Something New

Last week I tried something new.  For those reading my blog or in classes with me you will know that I have been struggling with my back for several months.  Last week-end was very intense I was actually walking bent forward and slightly to the left - even after my massage.  So on Tuesday I tried Cranial Sacral therapy.  I was very skeptical at first but once she laid her hands on me I felt the power of it.  I could feel things in my body, strange and interesting things.  Pain, pleasure or just sensation I could not always tell but I knew someting was working.

I left the appointment standing straight with minimal pain.  Still skeptical as my chiropractor appointments and massage appointments give me relief for a few hours at the most.  So I waited!  I had a rough night of sleep the next night, where I swear I felt the cerebral spinal fluid flowing up and down my spine.  The energy going from my pelvis to my head was intense, I can barely describe it, other than to say it felt like energy.  The next morning, still no pain.  Here we are now 4 days later and I feel fabulous.  I have about 10% discomfort and that is all.  The therapist said that people normally need two or three treatments.  So I am aware that I should not simply be pain free after one visit but I feel as if I am almost there.

One of the great things about this is that I actually had a very strong and healthy yoga practice today.  I have been practicing very lightly for the last few weeks as I can barely reach my toes.  My triangles have been legs close together with my arms on my hips.  Today my triangle was wide and strong and my arms were long and extended, I was even able to revolve! 

I am trying not to become attached to the way I have been feeling for the past few weeks to few months, nor to the way I am feeling today.  In my practice I felt certain postures I was holding back for fear of the pain returning or of over strain.  In some postures the tapas (burning desire) to go further was so strong I had to fight back as I don't want to enjoy today for pain tomorrow (ahimsa).  Very difficult to live in the present moment with my body when I am feeling good, as the fear of that causing unbearable pain for the next day is so intense.  Aparigraha with caution I suppose.

I am just very happy to be practicing without intense pain and to know that my practice is of good quality. I enjoy doing asanas and was becoming very sad and frustrated that I was not able to do very many.  Onward and upward!  Maybe I can even try some  new postures and more undiscovered territory - always practicing caution, being aware of were I am in the present and not grasping where I was yesterday or where I will be tomorrow.

Hari Om