Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Minneapolis: The Rest of It, Pool Parties and All

(a shot of Mysore class at The Yoga House, from a previous workshop with Govindakai. Michelle, the owner, is third from the left and these other two women students have been at all the sessions we have attended)

Tomorrow is the last day of Mysore practice at The Yoga House. Some of the folks who have been learning the Moon Sequence since Monday will drop it to practice Ashtang-er, while others will stay will the Moon for one more day. Even just a few days of practicing the Moon Sequence has committed it to memory and it suddenly becomes much deeper. This is something remarkable about memorizing sequences and building a self-practice.

There have been no more than 15 at any of the Mysore classes, most of them regulars at The Yoga House, and it's unlikely anyone has been disappointed. Most are working on the
Primary Series and a little of the Intermediate Series. And, if you must know, there are plenty of water bottles and towels, but no cheat sheets.

We've watched a few people doing dropback and handstand work, along with most everyone receiving bits and pieces of advice about all kinds of things. Great adjustments as well. We'd be happy to pay for the classes just to come in and watch the adjustments.

All of the teachers we've studied with have particular strengths/tendencies. Sharath knows how to push you past psychological barriers. Richard Freeman weaves together philosophy and physical practice. Kino MacGregor brings reverence for tradition. Matthew (yeah, that's right, we're on a first name basis) has an uncanny talent for taking the really physically difficult aspects of intense vinyasa practice—jumping/floating, inversions (up to and through handstand), standing backbending—and breaking them down into steps and progressions with a detail and clarity that could NEVER be found in Mysore. It's odd, but another example of the West doing a better/different take on yoga practice.

Today was pool party day. Class is over by 745 AM, it's overcast and barely 75°, who WOULDN'T want to get in the pool, right? Oh, did I mention MATTHEW SWEENEY was there? It was pretty chill(y), some snacks, goofing around, not too many people. Everybody brought a kid or two just to make sure the pool was full. No, he did not wear some kind of Aussie Speedo.

Tomorrow: class, breakfast with Matthew and students at Michelle (studio owner)'s house, and then back on the road. It's been a blast.

So...we will be offering three workshops at the shala in August, Friday nights the 14th, 21st, and 28th. We will draw strongly from the information gleaned here, as well as the work of David Swenson, Richard Freeman, and other vinyasa teachers. We'll cover jumping/floating, backbending, and inversions. We also may try a lead Moon Series class. Specific schedule coming soon. Let's all learn to levitate!

PS Yes, we would LOVE to bring Matthew to teach at the shala...the more response we get to workshops we feature now, the bigger the instructors we can get in the future.


Z said...

Excellent! See you guys in a week!

A Matthew workshop..... Hmmm.... Evil Books for everyone! *lol*

mangotree said...

Nice to read some recent reviews of a MS workshop. I did 2 weeks with him in Paris in May and found it really useful and inspiring/encouraging. Am already saving up for a month next year.