Monday, August 23, 2010

Day 2

I'm sitting in the cafe writing this feeling a little perturbed that at 10:52 PM I have to come here to connect to cyberland. I'd rather be connected in my room. Oh well, it is the way it is.

Just before David Williams' program
He had our attention. Left some scratching their heads.
This morning our presenter was David Williams. We did the practice as he was taught by Pattabhi Jois with a couple of exceptions. So I guess it isn't "exactly" as taught. We spent about an hour discussing his philosophy of practicing Ashtanga Yoga for the rest of your life. Ashtanga is about creating more Prana, with breath, bandhas and movement in a nonharmful manner. He shows his disdain for what has happened to this system of yoga—people being injured, people being pushed into postures they're not ready for and may never be. He feels he unleashed a virus when he brought Guruji and Manju to the U.S. to share this system of yoga with the West. Now, in his workshops, he's trying to kill the virus by teaching how to safely do the practice, without injury to yourself or by the hands of others. Yoga should not be painful. Each posture should feel the best it can feel. David's mantra: If it hurts, you're doing it wrong.

We began with some floor exercises designed to adjust the spine. Then we did Nauli (abdominal churning). David does about 500 a day, upon rising. The exercise certainly make you aware of your abdominal muscles.
David Swenson, doing Nauli.

Then we did the practice, stopped a couple of times for discussion, and for me, it was a nice practice. I sweated plenty. I was able to bind on most of my binding postures that can sometimes be difficult for me. At the end of the practice I felt really good.

Afterward I ate lunch with Sue Julian, a yoga teacher from Charleston's The Folded Leaf, who is here for more training in the Kripalu style of yoga, and afterward went to the whirlpool for a treat.

Marichyasana B
In the afternoon we had more discussion among all of the presenters. Questions and answers. Some hot issues. Some jokes. David Swenson is the best joke teller. The other two try, but Swenson beats them in the humor department.

Then Danny led us in Pranayama, which I have not yet come to appreciate. I understand it's importance, but for me it is hard work. I'm not opposed to hard work, but after 35 minutes of Pranayama I'm exhausted.

This evening David Williams told his story of his quest to be a yogi. He certainly is.

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