Thursday, March 28, 2013

A yoga blog for everyone-Llamas, Yamas, and Niyamas: If you are reading this you already know I am an I...

A yoga blog for everyone-Llamas, Yamas, and Niyamas: If you are reading this you already know I am an I...: If you are reading this you already know I am an Iyengar Yoga teacher.  I do not claim to be expert.  I am still a student learning what it ...
If you are reading this you already know I am an Iyengar Yoga teacher.  I do not claim to be expert.  I am still a student learning what it means to do yoga and to share what little I know.  You may also know I am the manager of a yoga center here in Denver.  It is funny when I think about it now.  I manage a yoga center.  I manage a bunch of desk staff and teachers.  I look after the building to make sure it is maintained. I make sure the lights turn on and people come in to teach.  I am also trying to build community among the people that enter its doors.  I believe Yoga can bring us together.  Maybe I am naive.  Maybe I am an opimist.  

When you look around today you seen so many kinds of yoga and yoga studios out there.  Ones that are named after there founders,  some named sanskrit terms,  some named after parts of the body:-)  There is something out there for everyone.  I have a friend once that came into town and she said, "I got depressed at the grocery store recently.  It was when I was in the cereal ailse and I could not decide what to get.  There are so many choices,  I decided to not buy anything."  My goal is to not let this happen in the Iyengar community.  As teachers and students of this method,  we should be coming together,  not falling apart at the seams.  I do want to make sure you know I am NOT comparing Iyengar yoga to cereal.....

Last week we had a teachers meeting and one of the owners asked what makes us different.  Someone said, "We have a living Guru!"  How true is that?  How lucky are we?  We have a living teacher and our one goal should be to share his and his family's works.  Another teacher told me, "I want to feel like I am part of a community,  like we are instructors teaching from the same syllabus."  No one could have said it better, this is what I want out of a yoga studio/class.  To be part of something bigger than myself.  We are to learn from his humble beginnings and listen to what is going on the world.  Guruji has changed with the times and so should his teachers.  I think we try so hard to be perfect.  It is our nature in this method. To keep posing, reposing to the point that we forget that we are human.  We are not perfect,  did you know that already? 

I am reading the Rahasya that I just got yesterday. The first article is a transcript from the 10th anniversary of the Iyengar Institute in Mumbai.  He talks about how when he first started teaching yoga that he had to go house to house to tell people yoga was good for them and they laughed at him!  Can you believe anyone laughing at Guruji?  Sometimes I feel the same way when I am telling people who practice other methods about Iyengar and why I love it.  I think sometimes they think I am a little crazy myself.  Thats ok.  I will continue to try to spread the word.  To get more people in our doors because I know someday they will feel as good as I do.  As teachers of any method of yoga,  the best way to get people to do the yoga, is to practice what you preach.  When others see you grow and become the person you always said you would be,  to be the happy person you always wanted to be,    that is what makes others want to do yoga.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Virabhadrasana 1

Not that you did not already know,  but it is cold out there campers!  Why not warm up with Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1). 

One of my teachers is back from Pune and the first class I took from her was standing pose week.  Now,  if you have taken an Iyengar class you know that you have to be able to endure the aches and pains of holding your arms up a long time.  I always tell students if you cannt hold your arms up in standing poses,  how else will you ever be able to do the more difficult poses like Adho Mukha Vrksasana or Chaturanga Dandasana?  We did Virabhadrasana 1.  Not just once, but twice,  actually 4 times if you count going into Vira III right afterwards!  I really was not sure how I was going to hold up. My arms were shaking, my belly was shaking from trying as hard as possible to keep that pesky tailbone in and down.  She even came over and smacked my thoracic and took my head back, classic move after being in India for a month.  After we were done with the pose,  I thought to myself, I did it.  I am still alive.  I am still breathing,  my neck is ok, my back is ok.   This pose can teach you so many lessons about yourself.  Are you willing to do the grunt work to make the pose feel better?  Are you going to give up halfway because you think your arms cannot even bear one more minute of this?  I will give you this challenge today,  go do the pose 2 times. Take a timer in with you.  Start at 30 seconds on each side, do not come out.  Notice what happens in your body. Does your mind give first or your body.  After a couple weeks of doing this for 30 seconds add on time until you get up to a minute on each side.  You will not be cold anymore,  but you will be stronger not just physically but mentally.  Afterwards give yourself the gift of legs up the wall and a savasana.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sister, Atilla??

This week I was described as Sister Angie and Atilla the Hun.  Hummmmmm.....maybe I am ready for India?

Yes, yoga asana is hard physically.  Yes, as teachers of yoga asana we challenge our students to look deep, to see if they have anything left.  But does this really call for calling me a nun and a barbarian?  Maybe:-)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Yesterday I had my book out The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  It is the version written by Edwin Bryant.  It was sitting out on the desk where I was working and another teacher walked by and said,  "Whos book it that?  Looks new?"  Well.....not so new.  I bought the book about 9 months ago when a freind and teacher said I should own it,  so of course being a good student,  I bought it 

Sometimes it just takes me a little while to get into something.  I am not a fast mover at most things,  especially study, yoga, and running.  Now driving a car is a different story,  wish I could apply my tortise like actions to that too.

I am currently getting into this book because Edwin Bryant is coming to Colorado next month. I do know that I will NEVER make it throught this entire 506 page book with another 30 or so pages of notes by then.  I am ok with that,  gotta start somewhere right? 

Sutra 1.2
Yoga is stilling of the changing states of mind.
Today when you go to practice, have a clear intention of where you want to be before, during, and afterwards.  Then throw it all out the window.  Just practice the asana.  In the Iyengar Method we are taught to listen so much sometimes we forget to listen to ourselves.  While is a pose, think, how does this feel?  Not just, does this look right?  Is my face relaxed, is my breathing irratic or calm.  Notice how when you go for a longer hold how the mind weaves back and forth between body parts,  to parts of your day.  The goal here is to calm those ever moving thoughts to a one pointed focus.  Then after your savasana,  jot down on paper the first thought that comes to you.  IF you want share it here or just keep it to yourself.  Now, go practice.

If you want to study with Edwin,  he will be at the Yoga Shala Boulder in April.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ardha Chandrasana

This is the senior yoga class at Northglenn. I love to watch them do this pose! It builds strength, endurance, and confidence!

Monday, March 4, 2013

New Teaching Schedule and Workshops

I wanted to post my new teaching schedule.  This will run until the 3rd week of July.  Then I will have subs for about 6 weeks for my classes.

The IYengar Yoga Center of Denver
     Monday:  Seniors 11-12:15
     Tuesday:  Level 1 10:30-12 & Level 2 5:45-7:15pm
     Wednesday:  Level 1 6-7:30pm
     Thursday:  Level 1 5:45-7:15pm

The Northglenn Recreation Center
     Wednesday:  Seniors 10:30-11:45am & 12:05-12:55 All levels

Upcoming Workshops:

March 16-Backbends and Inversions 9:00-11:30am
               The Northglenn Recreation Center
April 27-Home Practice Essentials  11-1pm
             The Iyengar Yoga Center of Denver