Saturday’s class was a little more challenging than the four hour class on Friday (obviously). It was very dynamic and informative.
We started out by attending Steve’s Ashtanga 2 class at 10:15am. Not knowing what to expect, I was a little nervous but eager.
Ashtanga is amazing. There is an element about it that is different than what I have been doing but I can’t put my finger on it. One of the main things I noticed was that I didn’t have the normal involuntary shaking that I normally do. This style is also very rooted in the traditional origins of yoga. While it almost kicked my ass, I dig it.
After the Ashtanga class, we talked a lot about the philosophy and history of yoga and then a bit of anatomy.
Back in the studio after lunch we continued our discussion and finished up with some Pranayama/breathing exercises before Christine came in and took over the class.
Holy flow!!! Christine knows how to turn up the energy and the heat in a class. Her ability to flow the class is insane. Her pace is so fast, but so good.
We did some craziness with downward dog where she had us actually walk around the studio in the pose and then come back to our mat. It felt a little like being in a bumper car in a snow storm – completely insane, crazy and fun. Then later on she had a complete love affair with Vrksasana where we all took the pose, holding on to each other as if in ‘A Chorus Line’ and then experiencing a ‘hurricane’, supporting each other as we bent backwards as a unit, enduring an imaginary gust of wind to add a backbend/chest opener to the asana.
In the last part of the class, Christine had us partner up and guide our ‘student’ through – Cat/Cow, Down Dog into Tadasana. Turns out that instructing is a little more difficult than the actual asana. I’ve done it a million times but it takes some concentration to communicate the right way to transition in to these poses to another person.
Such a great night !!!
Sunday’s class started out on the stage in Winter Park on Park Avenue with asana practice at 8:30am. I can not think of a better place to have been at that particular moment in time.
The practice flowed at Christine’s signature pace but was made so much more intoxifying by the addition of external elements. The breeze, squirrels, cars, people, church bells during ‘Happy Baby’ pose, and especially the little boy, who as we took “Charlie’s Angels” hands past our extended legs, took it with us exclaiming “Oh WOW!”.
We had a brief discussion after our asana and then again took partners to continue practice teaching for a while. Christine was great at observing opportunities and stopping the class as needed to give us some pointers and then letting us continue.
I felt a lot more confident by the end of that session.
After lunch, we gathered in the main studio for a little bookkeeping and discussion before the start of our workshop on Ayurveda.
I had taken a small course on the subject before but got so much more out of the workshop on Sunday because of Kristen’s amazing energy and obvious passion for the subject. After class I found out that Kristen attends Kripalu in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. I was so glad to meet her and look forward to our next workshops with her over the next few months.
We finished Sunday’s class by breaking out into two groups. One group would take the Radiant Flow class taught by previous students, while the balance of the class would take The Yoga Basics class with Debbie Parsons. I was personally excited to be able to take Debbie’s class. Even though I had taken this class before and positioned this class as the starting point for any one of my friends that wanted to experience yoga for the first time, it was perfect that I ended my weekend with Debbie’s gentle and inviting approach to yoga. It was sort of an exclamation point for the entire weekend.
This morning after waking, I sat on my cushion to do my ‘homework’ from Steve. Coming to my seat, setting an intention for the day. Being Grateful. Asking for forgiveness. Experiencing humility and then just breathing. Not just breathing, breathing properly. From the diaphragm, into the lungs and then letting it go. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. After a brief Savasana and sounding ‘Om’, my day was set and ready to go.
I can not explain what this journey has already done for me so far. There is something there with weight to it, but I can not find the perfect word to have most people comprehend the depth of it. Not yet.
Until then all I can leave you with is Namaste.