Last night in my home studio, while yogis were in Savasana, it struck me how really rather advanced many of the postures we had just practiced were. I didn’t even know some of these postures existed before Teacher Training like Rotated Triangle Pose or Half Bound Lotus Standing Forward Bend or binding hands in Marichyasana C.
The nice thing about my teacher was that ego didn’t flourish in her classes. I was never made to feel inadequate or self-conscious about my countless limitations. I know that I wobbled and I must have looked ungainly but I just remember enjoying yoga classes. Her adjustments didn’t crazily push anyone into extreme shapes or cause injury. (My teacher was Valentina Candiani who is teaching the yoga retreat with me this September).
Difficult or complex postures just come along in their own good time. Lotus pose, for example, came via a simple technique and easy encouragement from Chicago yoga teacher Jim Bennitt in 2015. (I’ll show you in class if you like.) I was 48 and had no idea that Lotus would ever grace my practice. I’d never given it much of a thought.
One teacher decided to tell my legs/hips what’s what! My non-existent Lotus Pose needed his interesting technique: he squatted in front of me while I was minding my own business in cross-legged posture and hooked my hapless foot into the crease of his hip. He then proceeded to gyrate... I think! I don’t really know because I closed my eyes, terrified for my flailing leg. After circling wildly with my captured foot he tried to deftly slip it up into half lotus. Well... after that inevitable defeat I don’t think he attempted the other leg! Not easy if your gyrating isn’t appreciated, eh!
Postures will come along in their own good time. Wild gyrating not necessary!
If you’re worried about the level of yoga on the retreat, really, you don’t need to be. All levels are welcome. If you are very experienced you’ll feel perfectly matched by the amount of yoga and the level. If you are relatively new to yoga, you can join the morning practice and do as much as you can. Your strength and endurance will increase day by day. The workshops will be both physical and philosophical. Everybody can do the Yin classes! Come with us on our magical Kapsali Yoga retreat, September 21st.
It’s good fun! Come and join us! You can see class availability on my website (which I update often). The latest availability is attached to this email.
I notice that Charlie Merton is back at Triyoga Ealing on July 19th for an evening’s Silent Yin & Gong Workshop for £25. It’s such a nice practice! I’ve booked the workshops taught by Beryl Bender Birch, September 13th – 15th at Triyoga Soho. She’s the originator of ‘Power Yoga’!
Yoga in the News
The Independent has: The undocumented history of female yoga teachers in Britain. Articles like this don’t come along very often. It’s about two teachers: “Sunita and Kailash were more than simply yoga teachers – their lives exemplify how yoga provided new opportunities for personal empowerment and social influence, offering a new route to liberation for women.”