Friday, April 18, 2014

More fun foot and calves of ghee work courtesy of Laurie B




Virasana LOY foot work
Toes turned under to  Virasana

Virasana to Sukasana work.

Virasana    to  Siddasana

Supta  vrk at wall
Vrk
Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana

Trik to  parivrita trik   keeping outer hip  in… 
AMS
Look forward  and heels  down
Then feet together….  To Parivritta  parvakonasana
Utt  to Dandasana


AMVrk  work
Pincha
Sirsasana
Parsva
Chair dwi pada
Urdhva  Dharunasana   hands out- on  two blocks together,  hands in front of blocks,   elbows against blocks. 
Ardha Halasana
Sarvangasana  Eka Pada
Parsva Halasana
Supta Sukasana
Savasana

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Seeing the soul and studying with Mary Obendorfer and Eddy Marks

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Seeing the soul and studying with Mary Obendorfer and Eddy Marks


tadā draṣṭuḥ svarūpe 'vasthānam    YS 1.3

When that is accomplished, the seer abides in its own true nature.


I started studying with Mary and Eddy right after I passed Intro I in  2004.   Mary was the assessor assigned to give me feedback. They  made their first trip to Austin not long after that.  They started teacher trainings in Dallas the following year and I took most of them. Eddy was one of my assessors for Intro II which I passed in 2006.   Even though they were not my mentors through the assessment process, they are indelibly linked in my mind with the assessment process overall.  I have learned so much from them about how to become a better teacher and so much from them about studentship and observing their profound dedication to BKS, Geeta, and Prashant, and the dissemination of Iyengar yoga.   

Actually, Mary and Eddy are never far from my mind.  They are the sorts of teachers who stick with me.  They are often the voice in my head when I practice and teach, and particularly now that I’m starting to teach others how to teach.  

I haven’t had the opportunity to study with them for about a year. It has been year of eventfulness.   Some really good things: my book has come out, I’ve passed Junior I, and I’ve been promoted to full professor.    There’s have been some difficult things too, Mom’s stroke, having dental implant surgery and the challenges of not having a front tooth of the expense of getting a new roof and trying to save for Pune etc.

Through all these changes and challenges, I’m reminded of BKS Iyengar’s famous quote

“The flexibility we gain in Asana is the living symbol of the suppleness we gain in relation to life’s problems and challenges.” 

Randy Just has that quote painted on the wall of his studio.  It has provided a visual backdrop for all the workshops I’ve attended with them over the years.

 I missed the first day of the workshop because of work obligations, but I arrived early the second day.  Mary came in smiling and waving a Mac adapter cord for me because I forgot Randy and mine was loaning me his.   I was reminded of how    I always think of Sutra   1.33 when I see them.

maitri karuna mudita upeksanam sukha duhkha punya apunya visayanam bhavanatah cittaprasadanam


Through cultivation of friendliness, compassion, joy, and indifference to pleasure and pain, virtue and vice respectively, the consciousness becomes favorably disposed, serene and benevolent.


They both exude  maitri, karuna and mudita.  Among other radiant yoga qualities: Adamant, intense, relentless, and uncompromising.    Those are some other yogic qualities that come to mind whenever I study with Mary and Eddy. This recent workshop in Dallas was no exception.

Their intensity is so inspiring.  It was particularly interesting watching them work with a lot of new people at the workshop and having the same dauntless enthusiasm. The advanced level teacher training was rather small. It was just the Dallas folks and me. But still the intensity with which Eddy focused on us was both kind and uncompromising. 

Eddy said so many thought-provoking things in our time together.  For example,  “We can’t skip steps.”  It’s a systematic process moving from the outer instruction.  He was talking about this in the context of helping Randy learn to develop senior level skills of linking the outer  “anga” instructions to the "antaranga” inner level instruction, but it strikes me that it also applies to asana, and most things.   Sooner or later, what you haven’t opened will become necessary to go further.    I’m very much at the place of realizing all that needs to happen in my body for me to go further.   The realization of that with respect to teaching skills hit me full force in the workshop. Even though I’ve learned so much and developed so many skills, there’s still so much more to develop.

So, I can be daunted by that or excited by that.   I don’t like the idea of just stopping where I am.  I know I want to continue to improve myself as a teacher, as a student, as a sadhaka, but how I orient myself to that process of development is definitely a choice.   I can be frustrated, daunted, overwhelmed or I can be unperturbed, calm and focus.  At the same time, there’s so much that is the same that I have to work on I still need to stop being nervous. I need to slow down and watch.   The mind is still the mind.

tatah dvandvah anabhighatah  2.48

From then on, the sadhaka is undisturbed by dualities.

Another thing Eddy mentioned in the same context is that Iyengar yoga is systematic. There’s a way from getting from point A to B to C to D.   Studying the method itself will take you where you need to go.  The momentum and samskara of practicing in the method should carry us through to the  “end,” whether that end is another life challenge, another level of opening in asana, another assessment syllabus, or the sight of the soul itself.   








Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Backbend and Twist Sequence for this morning


It is nice to be home for a bit,  though  I'm  leaving for  a couple days in  Waco.  The BIC senior banquet is  tonight so I'll spend the night up there.  
 
I had a great time in Boston and  Ann Arbor. 

I realized how tired I was  in Peggy's Class.  My body was definitely wanting to  backbend more than do kumasana,  but there I was  trying to get my foot behind my head for a good long while.  I am at least at the foot very near the head stage....  

So  Backbends.. 

Here's a sequence based on some of the work I learned with Laurie this weekend. 





Bk  
VVK
Malasana
Feet  wide  apart  Malasana
Virasana   
Paryankasana

Trik to  parivrita trik   keeping outer hip  in… 
AMS
Look forward  and heels  down
Then feet together….  To Parivritta  parvakonasana
Utt  to Dandasana


AMVrk  work
Pincha
Sirsasana
Parsva
Chair dwi pada
Urdhva  Dharunasana   hands out- on  two blocks together,  hands in front of blocks,   elbows against blocks. 
Ardha Halasana
Sarvangasana  Eka Pada
Parsva Halasana
Supta Sukasana
Savasana

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Early morning Sequence for Focus on Form

Slept for a few hours,  did some pranayama,   but  started thinking about all I need to get done and  decided to get up and do some of it.

Here's one thing,

Sequence for  today.

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B1
B1 in BK
B2
BK
UVK
AMS
Utt
Malasana
Tadasana
Vrk
Supta Vrk
Trik
Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana
Vira 2
AC
Prasarita
AMS
AMVrk
PM
Sirsasana
Parsva
Chair Dwi Pada
Ardha Baddha Padma Pashimottanasana
Padmasana
Tolasana
Dandasana
Purvottanasana
Sarvangasana
Eka Pada
Halasana
Parsva
M3
Paschimo
Savasana

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sheaths and Kaivalya


I've been talking about the sheaths more directly in  classes.  I figure if I familiarize myself  and my students with the idea f  sheaths, I  will begin to  refer to them  more  in my teaching.  


As I was preparing the CSS  facebook  daily update, I ran across this quote from  BKS,


"In order to find out how to reveal our innermost Being, the sages explored the various sheaths of existence, starting from body and progressing through mind and intelligence, and ultimately to the soul. The yogic journey guides us from our periphery, the body, to the center of our being, the soul. The aim is to integrate the various layers so that the inner divinity shines out as through clear glass." ~B.K.S. Iyengar  –Light on Life


As we become aware of the various layers, we facilitate the process through which our  inner divinity will shine forth.

Sutra for  today is also about the process of liberation.  I need  to think about how the yogic powers relate to the various  sheaths of our existence. 

tad - that
vairagyat- from detachment, distinterst
api - even
dosa - faults
bija -seeds
ksaye -on the destruction of 
kaivalyam- supreme independence, ultimate liberation.  



3.51/ 3.50
tadvairagyat api dosabijaksaye kaivalyam

By destruction of the seeds of bondage and the renunciation of even these powers, comes eternal emancipation. (I)
By detachment even from this attainment (i.e, omniscience and omnipotence], and upon the destruction of the seeds of all faultys, kaivalya, the supreme liberation ensues. (B)

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Hanging out with Momzy

Milo and I are  over at Mom and Dad's house. We are watching over Mom  so  Dad feels at ease enough to enjoy his two hour massage at the Joint.  I'm  doing various administrative  tasks  and getting things organized for being away the next two weekends. 

I'm leaving for the North Texas Philosophical Association conference in Denton  tomorrow.  I'm  one of several invited speakers.  I'm giving  the paper I'll give in Boston  next week.  I'm glad to have a trial  run  on how much of it  can read and which parts read well. 

Then I leave next Wednesday for Boston.  I'm giving a paper at  the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy   then  I leave from Boston for  Laurie's  intensive in Ann Arbor. 

I'm home for a while,  and then off to the Ancient Philosophy Society in Tampa.  

Home  until we leave for Pune. 

Lots of preparation.


I'm grateful for all these opportunities, for really great yoga and philosophy students,  Jeff and Milo and the nice weather.






Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tuesday Morning Sequence and Sutra of the day

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Sequence  for  Castle  Hill  April  1. 


AMVira  Knees up on  bolster
AMS
Malasana   getting heels
AMS
BK  with Brick

UVK

BK to  UVK  several times  arms  extended forward

Malasana Utt 

Tadasana
Vrksasana
Trikonasana
Parsvotanasana  (Leann)
Parivritta  Trik

AMVrk
Sirsasana   
Parsva Sirsasana 

Paryankasana
Dandasana
Eka Hasta
Dwi Hasta Bhujasana

Kurmasana

Purvottanasana  
Sarvangasana 
Halasana, Parsva
Paschimo
Savasana  





sattva - intellect
purusa -the self, soul
anyta -difference
khyati -discernment
matrasya -of one only
sarva- all
bhava- state of existence
adhisthatrtvam -state of supremacy over
sarva - all
jnatrtvam -state of knowledge
ca - and 



3.50 /3.49
sattva purusa anyata khyatimatrasya sarvabhava adhisthatrtvam sarvajnatrtvam ca

Only one who knows the difference between the illuminative intelligence and the seer attains supreme knowledge of all that exists and all that manifests. (I)
Only for one who discerns the difference between the purusa and the intellect do omniscience and omnipotence accrue.  (B)