Monday, March 12, 2012

Day 13: In form of...

Shameless, I know.

Monday, March 12, 2012
Flow w/ Debra E.
5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

Thanks to a wild wind storm and subsequent power and water outage (we're on a well system, so when the power goes out, so does our well pump), I missed morning Mysore so that I could go to the store and buy the emergency water jugs I've been meaning to buy for months. I ended up going to a later class led by Debra — who reminds me of Adaptation-period Meryl Streep. She led us through an Anusara-inspired flow that included a lot of new-to-me poses, which made it a really fun practice.


I find it refreshing to step outside of the Ashtanga practice with regularity, not only to re-visit favourite poses not included in that tradition, but also to give me some perspective on my physical growth. Lately, when I attend and non-Ashtanga class, I'm often struck by how much stronger and more flexible I've become through my regular practice. When I go through the Primary Series, it's less apparent — perhaps because the leaps between the progressive poses are so great (at least for me), or maybe because I'm just so focused on all the intricacies of the individual poses that I'm unable to see my own growth as a whole. I know that I can bind 1 more finger in Marichyasana A than I could last week, but that still seems fathoms away from where the pose will eventually take me:


I was also reminded in this class how much I enjoy yoga's animal-derived poses. Last night we did Garudasana (Eagle Pose):

It got me to thinking of how I'd love to start a class for kids that consisted mostly of animal poses and how much fun it could be to bring them to life with storytelling interwoven with the asanas. I've also been thinking that the "animasanas" could be a key connector to my shamanic practice, but I'll be exploring that more, later.

All of this to say that I think it's really important for me to not get locked into one style of yoga. Personally, I think that Ashtanga is the most solid base, and even in it's limited form there is room for an incredible amount of growth, but there is still so much more to explore and so many enjoyable and useful asanas in other styles. And while the Ashtanga Series doesn't allow for much creative expression, it does give you all of the tools to work with — and not feeling locked into that one style will allow me to take those tools and freely express whatever my heart desires (or needs).



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