It's a bit difficult to know exactly what to say about the 4-day Asana Junkies Intensive down in San Marcos, Texas. Words like awesome, fun, inspiring, radical, revolutionary, deep, delightful, soulful are all accurate and yet, honestly they all seem a bit overused these days.
All that being said, I really had an excellent time for so many reasons. The practices were strong and deep without being manic or agitating. We had time to go into things but we didn't get bogged down. We had lovely restorative afternoons and time for relaxing, drinking tea, hanging out at the river and even visiting the Lululemon outlet in San Marcos! We worked on a lot of the same postures every morning making small additions and changes to progress the sequence toward harder poses. I have been using this strategy in my workshops a lot these days to great result. While I am a big fan of creative sequencing and working to peak poses in a very specific way, I am finding that a more generalized approach to full-spectrum practice with a somewhat repetitious sequence helps both the teacher and student a lot.
This approach is also the one I am going to be taking in the upcoming Asana Junkies Webinar. During the first webinar we worked on a different sequence each week and while people found they got stronger and fitter and made great progress, people also said they had some trouble keeping up with the volume of content. Given that it is summer and people are busy and traveling more, I thought it would be a perfect time to implement my recent observations. So I have developed 3 progressively more challenging sequences that use the same basic template for a full-spectrum practice and we will spend 3 weeks on each sequence instead of 1 new sequence each week. Also, one thing that is great about doing a similar sequence frequently is that once we learn the choreography of it, so to speak, our mind is free to move deeper into the being-level of the postures and the flow of the practice itself, rather than on the figuring out of what comes next and why, etc. Of course, it is not some rigid thing either. I am a fan of both structure and creativity when it comes to these things.
Anyway, back to the intensive--We had yet another amazing group of teachers and practitioners assembled for the week from all over the states. There was an incredible, broad-base of knowledge and experience from Anusara yoga to Bikram yoga to Baptiste yoga to Viniyoga and Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. We were able to be in a very collaborative, collegial discussion throughout It was so fun to see what started as a webinar this winter manifest in a live event where people from all over the country came together to practice as a group. It was so inspiring on so many levels. I think the main inspiration of it was the organic nature of this whole project. I didn't have some big idea of what this would look like nor did I start with concrete goals of any kind. I just knew that a lot of people out there needed some renewed enthusiasm for asana.
And so late last year I had an idea for an online program that would help support people in practice and strengthening their connection to asana and their love of yoga through a structured and collaborative learning forum. I was also inspired to create a program that could be done from home, that was affordably priced and would also connect people to a larger community of practitioners while supporting them in strengthening their local communities as well. I wanted to help bridge a gap between the global and local worlds of yoga and return to practice as the foundation of community life, not ideology or Big Vision so much. (Don't get me wrong, I love big vision and all that but honestly, community to me is always about who I am rolling my sleeves up with and who I am actually working with, not simply about like-mindedness.) Anyway, Asana Junkies was born from these stirrings and ideas and the program became a real source of renewal for me and for many people. (I mean really, there are so many amazing testimonies about how it helped people shift in both the physical practice and in their inner life of practice. But all that for another day.)
So that the online vision manifested in an intensive like this was such a lovely development in the story. And the caliber of practice and the depth of commitment in the room was also a lovely demonstration of what ongoing practice can create in us both individually and as a group. More could certainly be said but the day beckons.
here are some scenes from the weekend to enjoy. Also here is a link to Livia's blog about some of her reflections-livia-shapiro.squarespace.com/news/2013/5/20/deposits
Follow This Blog
"There is a light that shines beyond all things on Earth, beyond us all, beyond the heaven, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the light that shines in our heart."