18 September 2008

A Physical Practice

In need of a honest-to-goodness led Ashtanga class, I went to my friend Lindsay's (www.annarboryogi.blogspot.com) Ashtanga class after work yesterday. I had talked to her earlier in the day about how it is hard to find many classes in Ann Arbor that aren't, well, as I put it "namby-pamby". Lindsay and I came to yoga at the primarily same time, at the same place and did the same teacher training - because of this we share a similar yoga lineage so to speak. Our teachers were excellent, our training was authentic, challenging, and still what seems to us "real". Real meaning, it didn't coddle us and there wasn't a lot of room to slack. At times it was difficult and downright hard. But I still feel that when I first began doing yoga at Yoga Shala, I was getting my own little piece of Pattabhi Jois! Anyway, since those days are over I have yet to find a class, studio, or teacher I can really follow. Where is the teacher! I am told when I am ready the teacher will appear! I think the teacher came and went, I followed that teacher for a time and now I have to wonder, do I get another teacher?

But last night, in Lind's class I got a little bit of that "real" feeling back. She set out to lead what she said was "a very physical practice". And of course it wasn't like a power yoga class, devoid of any talk outside of the physical realm, it was very physically centered. At times it felt strict even, which was SUPER! Love it!
She slaps her hands together to initiate the between pose vinyasas which really prompts you and brings you "up" and present and willing to move into the vinyasa and not slack. She also threw in some Second Series poses which just infused the practice with fun and mental interest.

So, for now, I think I will attend that class regularly, even though it means driving to work that day instead of taking the bus. I figure if I can't take classes from my old teachers I can take classes from a dear friend who was also taught by my teachers. Namaste Linds!