Weekend of yoga

I must admit, I was a little nervous about spending nearly $200 on a weekend of yoga. However, I feel that if I had spent the fee and got just today’s portion, it would have been well worth it.

Yesterday was about warming up and cooling down, and establishing limits to reach beyond them. A large amount of the work was partner work, and 100% of it was about getting your body aligned before doing anything (and keeping it aligned while going into the pose). We maintained this philosophy throughout even the craziest poses like “__kapotasana__”:http://ashtangayoga.info/asana-vinyasa/intermediate-series/09c-Kapotasana-A.html. (No, this is not Astanga yoga, it’s “Anusara”:http://www.anusara.com.) Ok, so I didn’t do _kapotasana_ all the way, but I did manage to get my head to the floor and trust me, that’s going way beyond my previous limits.

Today we went all out, and worked on expressing beauty in every pose. I concentrated on the alignment principles even more today, and had amazing results. I managed to stay up in “__pincha mayurasana__”:http://ashtangayoga.info/asana-vinyasa/intermediate-series/19-Pincha-Mayurasana.html for a few seconds and come down in a controlled and balanced fashion. The trick was using a large amount of energy to spin my legs inward and hug them toward the midline of my body. And even more amazing feat was, through the help of a strap and a partner, “__eka pada rajakapotasana__”:http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/863_1.cfm. Yes, my head came to my foot. If you told me this morning that I would be able to do that, I would have laughed in your face. All this while working with an injury, and amazing given that three years ago when I started this journey I couldn’t even sit on the floor with my legs straight in front of me and touch my shins.

And if that was what I got out of this weekend, it would have been worth it. However, it went a lot further than that. I got a different perspective on my practice, and ways to deepen even with the less crazy-looking poses (which I’ll probably stick with for 99% of my home practice). I learned even deeper how the alignment principles and the movement of energy work with yoga. And I _felt_ them at work in the various poses — crazy and normal — and came to a body’s wisdom realization that the hard and easy poses are just different expressions of the same ideas just as (in the tantra philsophy behind Anusara) all living beings are different expressions of the same Infinite.

And, to cap it all off, this afternoon was about applying the principles to heal injuries. We worked with feet, knees, hips (which I needed very much), low back, and shoulders. Todd has been through a lot, and knows a lot of variations and restorative ways to use props to bring the body into alignment naturally.

So if you are a yogi (of any level) and you have the chance to take one of “Todd’s”:http://www.deeppeaceyoga.com, do it. It will be worth it.

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