Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day 2 w/ Swenson

Kalani B&W, originally uploaded by lmpicard.

I began my day with a stroll down 4th Street in Vancouver. Nice overcast morning, chill of the air on my flesh. I then went for a 2 hour ride around stanley park then over to west vancouver and cypress park. I was getting tired and knew I had a full day ahead of me with nearly 8 hours with David Swenson at the yoga studio.

Lunch a typical whole food grab and go, but you gotta love Vancouverites... because this whole foods actually has a raw food bar and some of the yummiest salads without onions.

Now about my yoga day. We started at 1pm doing the FULL ashtanga primary series. There were about 50 people in the class so I was a bit smoked and dripped so much sweat my hair was completely wet and my body drenched. Lucky for me I had my cotton mat to soak it up.

The second session was about flight, balance and learning to use less effort in our practice. I learned that I must balance on my fingers like my toes perform when I walk. I tested the concept and it gave me new body awareness to test in my landing forward and pushing back (its all a handstand and I know that has been my nemesis for sometime). I also discovered new positioning for my legs (like getting them the hell out of the way, crossing at the shins and flexing the feet). This second session was probably one of the most helpful. I will say that David is a bit goofy and I think his style is technically very good yet his exploration of pranayama was a bit lacking. I basically think he is a vata constitution that just needs to move a lot.

tomorrow we learn some of the intermediate series and a special session on inversions (my favorite). Namaste!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Vancouver with Swenson

Kalani Yoga, originally uploaded by lmpicard.

I just drove up to Vancouver this evening to attend a weekend workshop with David Swenson. David must be the most beautiful yogi I've ever seen practice; the guy really floats with amazing grace.

So the first evening (Friday) was an informal lecture on Ashtanga yoga. David seemed to take the topic lightly and interjected humor at every junction. I'm not sure I was fond of the style, but I did just drop myself into this studio after being 20 minutes late (given border crossing).

After his demonstration (absolutely gorgeous), we did do a practice of some basic A + B series to feel the breath, prana and practice our bundas. He taught me some subtle oppositions that caused my forward bends to go further and deeper.

What is fascinating to me right now is how my poses seem to work me, how I'm finding extension and length. I think the biggest learning lesson this evening was on drishti (internal focus and outward gaze). I discovered that our internal focus can deepen when our drishti is challenged by distraction. There is a lot of distractions in daily life. Our yoga is to have the subtle gaze yet deep understanding of who we really are, the true I am.

Monday, August 24, 2009

seattle yogic journey

Kalani B&W, originally uploaded by lmpicard.

This week pat (my temporary boyfriend - thank you Christy) and I decided we would attempt to see all that Seattle had to offer in terms of yogis. Now I've been practicing for about 4-5 years (on and off and more regular in the past 2) and Pat has been a bit of a rabid new comer at 12-14 months. Our perspectives are similar yet also very different. He has been formally trained (200 hour teacher training), I have not. I seem to like the fact that every teacher has something to tell you, yet often times the lessons comes in painfully small bites with less articulate or practiced yogis.

Sunday found me at Rain City Yoga then that evening, meditating and practicing at Troy Lucero's studio. Today we wandered into the noon class with Kathleen Hunt at Samadi. All were solid experiences and each I felt something new. I am actively journaling about this journey. I'm posting this picture here because its a post I'm cultivating and think I can achieve. Today I got one leg behind my head in this resting yogi pose. I would like to say I'm halfway there, but I know the second leg is the harder and resting is even harder.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

special new brand

this evening a dear friend and I prepared dinner and dreamt up a new special brand. we know it doesn't look like much but there is just a little more to reveal before the masses scream for more. stay tuned.