Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The road less traveled, or practicing Ashtanga yoga in the Quad Cities


It's been six Sundays worth of the Primary Series since our return from the subcontinent. That's the equivalent of one week of traditional Ashtanga yoga practice in the Quad Cities (the traditional schedule is Sunday through Friday, Saturdays off). K & E are each finding their voice"instructing" this class, which definitely has a different feel to it that most everything else in the Quad Cities yoga scene.

And my, how far we've come. It is remarkable to see the Sunday regulars (you know who you are - and so does everyone else by the limping and bitching every Monday). Already it is an entirely different class than we saw on that first Sunday in August. The body is fluid through time, reacting and adapting so quickly to these new demands placed on it. In addition to several...other things in the air on Sunday mornings, there is a new, palpable focus, confidence, and strength that wasn't there even two weeks ago. Dross burns off; the unnecessary falls away.

We can feel that students are getting a sense of what is coming next, that, though we rarely teach specific modifications w/in the flow, people know how to adapt everything as needed. And of course there is that post-practice high - contagious.

And let's not forget to mention our Intro class, having just wrapped up week two. The structure of this class is deceptively simple - we teach, step-by-step, the Ashtanga sequence over the course of the six weeks. Each class begins with an uninterrupted flow through everything we've learned so far, and then more step-by-step addition to that. This should take us all the way up through Navasana by the end of our six weeks, the perfect amount of experience to then wade into the Primary Series class. Even these first two weeks of the Intro class have been something to see: we've overheard students comparing notes about practicing Surya Namaskara during the week, and then seen that practice reflected in class.

We're all already getting to know one another, as well. The Intro class, having graciously warmed up the practice space, on their way out chatting briefly with the Primary Series folks on their way in.

One big, happy, sweaty, family, gathering at holidays to break bread and count blessings:



yogatommy said...

Wow! All that we've done is equivalent to one week in traditional Ashtanga. That really puts it in perspective. Time to kick it up a notch.

BG said...

I think you two really have something going on here. That class (Led Primary Series) is certainly a workout. I saw some peepers last Sunday from the Intro class watching for a few minutes or all of you I say: Yes you will sweat, Yes you will stretch, Yes you will be tired after, yes you will love it, and YES!!!! YOU CAN DO IT!

Also....perhaps: yes, you will take a nap after it. I have been known to.