Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mantras and Mudras and Asanas, Oh My!

If you've seen me since Thanksgiving, you'll have observed that I am obsessed. With yoga. I rediscovered my love of this ancient Indian practice on a much-needed trip home to Wisconsin, at my LYS (local yoga studio), the Milwaukee Yoga Center.

After checking the IYNAUS website for a licensed Iyengar teacher in Rhode Island, I found one teacher in Providence. Joy of joys, she was right downtown and accessible by public transport. My first class was January 5 and I have taken at least two classes a week since then. Lately it's been three. I also participated in a workshop on building an effective home practice, which I do most days I do not have a teacher-run class at the studio, Motion Center. You see, I am not just obsessed with getting better at performing yoga, I am intrigued at the prospect of understanding yoga. I'm studying the full art form, and it is an art. It clears the mind, challenges the body, and refreshes the spirit. It's the reason I want to embark on the long process of teacher training to become a licensed Iyengar teacher. I have a long way to go, but I think it will be a pleasant and enlightening journey.

I keep a journal of every class I take and every sequence I create. Sometimes it's out of order because my mind can't recall the exact order, but the asanas are there and so are my observation about how my body or mind felt at the time as well as corrections to apply or observe. I thought I would share with you my 2010 asana To-Do List. There are poses that I need further practice in, and which are springboards to more complicated poses. I don't have to get these poses perfectly, but as challenges, I think they will enhance my practice and help me be a better teacher when the time comes. What are your physical/mental challenges this year?

Virasana - I have large thighs and calves, so this pose is a challenge. Getting closer though! Only about 3 fingers off the ground.

Gomukhasana, right arm back - I can interlock my fingers with the left arm back, but barely reach my fingertips with the right back...would like to be even by the end of the year.

Salamba Sarvangasana - Working on pressing my shoulders and arms down, while lifting my chest/lower body up. Much better than it was a few months ago. I can hold it for about 3-5 minutes, perform a hovering konasana, partial eka pada, etc.

Halasana - Not happening at all...too much for my neck I think...or maybe I am smothering myself with my chest?

Salamba Sirsasana - I need more strength in my arms and shoulders to take the weight off my head. I have an inversion workshop in two weeks, maybe I'll learn some tricks :)

Until next time...


bySarah said...

What an awesome class - building your own home yoga practice. I am quite intrigued, as I have just been following yoga DVDs in the morning. I will probably ask you more about this next time I see you.

Sarah said...

I can photocopy the handouts I got from my yogi and give them to you tomorrow night :)