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Now, Yoga..

August 27, 2010

I have been told it is best to read inspiring words early in the morning when the mind is succulent and ripe to absorb wisdom. I have spent the last 10 days of yoga in New York wrapping my brain around the concepts of synthesis and deconstruction and all the opposing forces at work in our small worlds and the universe…and thus I am changing my thoughts about what I have been told and aim for new perspectives as I instead release thoughts out of my mind, from my pen this morning..maybe the old saying will prove true to someone else as they read this early tomorrow morning.

I sit with the sun on my neck in La Colombe Torrefaction cafe watching a line up out the door of attractive New Yorkers in great shoes. No one in the line looks impressed but are all looking at themselves in the impressively large mirror hanging to alter the impression of a tiny café.  This trip has been full and it’s hard to comment on just one aspect of worlds coming together and breaking apart – the frantic thrill of opportunities and food in NY, the quaint boutiques in cobblestone alleys, the warmth and anonymity of the dozens of yoga studios, the horrifying shopping skills of native New Yorkers, the friendliness of strangers, the heat of the pavement, the winds of Woodstock, the art, the bridges, the bicycles, the devotional, dedicated teachers…

The offerings of those I spent time with – Ana Forrest, David Life, Sharon Gannon intensively and others at Virayoga, Laughing Lotus and Kula Yoga Project – sit with me and I sit with them, the insights expanding and contracting, my skin sac stretching and sweating, muscles contorting, heart beating as I am persuaded to find new pathways for subtle energies everywhere for everyone for God for Love for Life.

All the while, these teachers are at home, at ease. And another microscopic portal has opened for me towards the truth.

A blatant example of the opposing forces I literally experienced was the difference in the environment where I studied Forrest Yoga versus Jivamukti.

Ana Forrest, 4 assistants and 100 excited heavy breathers bombarded Pure Yoga NYC for 3 days and 13 hours of demanding releases. The spacious underground studio was set up with mats, towels, name tags, props and Ana was hooked up to the mic while her assistants did all of the promo talks after class for Ana’s videos and upcoming autobiography. The staff were professional, the classes punctual and the emotional releases guaranteed. Childs pose is not an option and we like it that way.  Welcome to your core.

David Life’s sister greeted us upon pulling into Gannon and Life’s driveway at their home and mini ashram in Woodstock. 35 teachers, Jivamukti studio directors, famous friends gathered into the studio for practices/spiritual discussions. Gannon’s classical playlist or Life’s sultry beats accompanied views of the garden, pond and occasional wild turkey. Toilet paper does not get flushed in these parts but photographs are welcome.  This practice is for God, for love, liberation.

This is going to be a long post.

It might go on for a lifetime.

Now to deconstruct the intention of each tradition: Forrest is the breath, vital life force. You must breathe into the painful and tight parts of the body where you have stored emotions, tension, negative memories in the muscle tissue. Bringing awareness to your ability to release these wounds will give your body permission to actually let go of the wrong ideas about yourself and the world you have been holding on to.

Ana Forrest didn’t dive into the philosophical traditions of yoga. For her, the intense physical practice, the pranayama, the kriyas are spiritual. In order for yoga to work for you, remain acutely aware of your body while moving with grace and powerful breath. Experience all the lessons in your body and feel transformed.

Gannon and Life reminded us of Patanjali’s 1st Sutra- Now, Yoga. Yoga is NOW. It happens all around us right now. Yoga is not a distant memory or something we might do when chaos hits. Yoga is watching, meditating, chanting, transforming, vinyasa, love NOW. Yoga is conscious with intention in every moment. Yoga is aligning yourself with your intention, physically and spiritually. And yoga is love, pure joy-why? Because it’s the one thing that humans everywhere all seek out. Each class with Gannon and Life actually covered dozens of philosophical aspects of yoga. The manner in which they openly shared all they knew was humbling, inspiring and not daunting whatsoever. Extremely casual and natural. Just like yoga.

You can consider how they each come together. Where the intentions meet.

Ok, so maybe the next post will be Part 3…? The art of sequencing in NY and workshopping Warrior 1 with David Life – poking body parts to get that pelvis neutral. So practical and hilarious. And Now, Yoga! (as I have experienced it).

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