Had an amazing time in the Big Apple. I actually hate that moniker. I had an amazing time in NYC. I stayed w/ my friend, Paige, a warm, funny, beautiful, and spirited person who also makes for a very gracious host.
On Friday I headed down to the Sheraton on 52nd and 7th for an all-day intensive w/ Baron. It's funny, for the longest time (well, relative to how long I've been practicing), I had this fear about being adequate in large workshops or as a student in famous studios. I feared that I wouldn't be able to keep up, etc. But now I've reached the point where I don't become intimidated by the class because I feel comfortable to stop and rest at anytime. Without knowing it however, I had swung in the other direction a little -- to the point where I was anticipating sequencing. Frequently throughout the intensive I heard to come with a "beginner's mind". At first, even this flew right past me. But repetition worked some magic and finally I heard the message. What a really wonderful opportunity - to be a beginner again.
David Life encouraged the same approach during his class on the myth of aging. In addition to his insightful musings about age ("adult is defined across every species as the point at which one stops growing" ergo, keep yourself young through growth), he asked us to let go of judgment of how we thought a posture was supposed to go and just follow his request. I touched my toes together in Danurasana without my usually cautious attention for my sacrum.
After the Jivamukti class I went to Baron's class on inversions. Aside from it being one of the most fun and blissful classes I've taken in a while, I became acquainted w/ one of Paige's friends, Kinndli, who had gone to Level 1 in May and was as enthusiastic as me about the practice. I apparently have a huge block w/ handstands but I didn't care. It was really fun trying. I ended the class on a total yoga high.
After lunch I went to Rama Birch's class. At first I was resistant to the chairs that we used as props. My busy mind wrestled with the slower, measured cadence and I allowed some judgment to set in. It didn't help that the room felt about 50 degrees (they were having a problem with the thermostat) but I really had to question my resistance. Oh how easy it was while in a flow to recall the beginner's mind. Yet when things were not as I expected I struggled to stay light. Though now, days later, I'm able to really appreciate her kind and wise spirit and that the class was exactly what I needed at that time. I was physically spent going into her class and likely would have dropped at serious exertion. So the chance to spend nearly an hour in a savasana-like position re-charged me.
I've heard a lot about Erich Schiffman before. It's all true! Indeed - I found myself in splits (well, it was close) and lotus w/ relative ease. He emanates love and light! Damn if I'm not horrible at recalling other people's sequencing because he came up w/ some really great and gentle ways to open the hips and hamstrings. Kinndli was next to me in class again and so it was fun to share my post-class giddiness w/ someone else.
I've written this far and neglected to mention that my very talented friend, Bob, was in NYC also, assisting. Kinndli, Bob, Lisa (another very cool assistant) and I went to dinner across the street at Stage Deli (insanely overpriced) before we caught, sans Bob who had to get back to Brooklyn, Krishna Das. I say caught when really we were soooo late, which sucked it, but it was good conversation at dinner and at least I got to see him. Magical performer.
So I made it back to Paige's and on Sunday hopped a way too early flight back to Austin, awakened only by the 2nd 40 Days workshop. Can I just say, again, how great the group is?! They are so inspirational. I'm learning so much from them and am awed by their courage.
Speaking of courage big things going on in my life but maybe later about that...
Gots to get to bed so I can get up and practice. 10 days till Hawaii!