Hall Pass

I read a very generous and detailed synopsis of a David Swenson  workshop on the blog I link to below:

Ashtangi Angel: David Swenson Manchester workshop 2012 and my first jump through!.

I had heard some of the points at AYC in San Diego. What I had not heard (but was maybe said and I did not catch) was that you should be performing at about 80% to 90% of your capacity for a couple of excellent reasons. 1. So you can receive adjustments with less risk of injury, and 2. So you  never feel taxed or overextended, which provides an opportunity to feel generosity towards yourself, which leads to feeling optimistic, therefore from your own accord  you try new and harder things more fearlessly. (that last part was my ramble.) Worked like a charm today. The temperature in CT didn’t hurt either. Welcome yoga weather. I can’t believe yoga has brokered peace between myself and humidity.

In other news, I have found new strength in my shoulders to give relief to my head and neck during headstand, but have lost the so called plumb line that allowed teacher to let go of me once she coaxed me up…

What if You Don’t Enjoy Enlightement?

Totally possible, since your experience is yours to screw up after all. This Is something that Craig Ferguson’s and Eddie Izard’s competition (aka David Swenson) brought up at last weeks’ AYC. David was answering I question I don’t remember, but he started the answer with “what if you are already enlightened” what if this is it? Maybe it is actually going on and you just said: I really thought it was gonna be different, ya know? On some days like for example yesterday, I am convinced that it is a matter of just pressing the like button on what is going on, or at the very least pressing the I don’t mind button, lets say on sun salutation #68 out of 108. All off a sudden it is no big deal, not a good deal or a bad deal, not even a deal. Or  like after a bite of something scrumptious, remembering someone might have exactly the same blissful sensation you are having from eating wild mushroom risotto from eating a bag of Cheetos. same dopamine party, same effect. After that, like David says, you still have to chop wood and carry water,quoting the Zen Koan. The chopping and carrying never stops, but the cataloging of it as a good thing or a bad thing does stop. Your choice.

AYC Memories Part II

I’m a person who thinks about taking a photo when it is almost too late. Lets say that there is very little in the form of documentation in my nuclear family compared to the average american family. It was just not part of my upbringing. So that’s my excuse for just having 4 photos, plus  no photos of my shala mates or my teacher. I do have a very vivid memory and it is very detailed, so there.

Let me just continue with a list of things I thought were pretty great this past AYC weekend:

  1. Jason Stein (http://leapinglanka.blogspot.com/)signed my book. He was so humble, I felt sort of bad for bugging him.
  2. It took  me awhile to figure out why everybody smelled the same, kind of minty and herby. I guess all pain balms have a common ingredients, huh?
  3. David Swenson could very well make a living as a stand up comic, and so could Eddie Stern. Too many good jokes and anecdotes to list here. One in particular that I will do no justice to, stands out: David describing the photo op of Guruji and Mr. Iyengar al blinged out in gold checking each other out with the glee of youngsters who finally made it in the big time, only they are old men. David tells this story with gangbanger gestures and his texas drawl, and had us rolling on the floor. Priceless. Eddie Stern has the quickest sharpest comebacks, and a perfectly timed joke for every transition in subject matter. He even made the entire jetblue red eye flight sing happy birthday to a ten year old. I hope that’s not invasive to tell. He is extraordinary in every way.
  4. I think I’ll have to dedicate a whole post to Nancy Gilgoff. I will do whatever it takes to take her next workshop. there is an inherent body of knowledge inside this unassuming woman that needs to be acknowledged.
  5. Speaking of humor, one of the best stories one afternoon was Nancy’s, describing how she bonded with a live lobster who was destined to be dinner at a celebration in  her childhood home.  she told how she named her Henrietta, and in an effort to save her life asked that she be boiled last!
  6. I will go ahead and say it right now: I think that both Tim Miller and Richard Freeman are the most erudite, well educated, most knowledgeable yogis amongst us at this point and time. And if you are lucky enough to be their student, you should not be shy about calling them your guru. There, I said it.
  7. I don’t think it is in the cards for me to speak or read sanskrit in this life time but I am sure glad that I got to listen to Eddie Stern chant and try to teach us. I truly felt blessed every time I heard him chant.
  8. David Swenson’s wife Shelly (I hope that’s right) and Richard Freeman’s wife Mary are wonderful in the mysore room. I received excellent adjustments and advice from both of them.
  9. Somebody will hopefully explain one day why the Hanuman Chalisa makes me and everybody else weepy.
  10. All five teachers are so at home with each other and they build on what each other says with some ribbing and teasing in between, that there is no doubt about their  true bonds of friendship. No divas no drama no problem. short details on important (in my opinion) stuff each of them said tomorrow.