"There is a great difference between knowing and understanding; you can know a lot about something and not really understand it." - Charles Kettering
The Anatomy of Movement by Blandine Calais-Germaine, was one of the first books I bought when I started taking yoga classes. I'd study the meticulous drawings and slowly etch the actions that my body was designed to perform, in my mind.
Some movements were easy and those that involved my hip joints were baffling. It has taken years of practice for parts of my body to comprehend what my eyes first read. I can't stop now, though. All parts of me are progressing; I think I read that somewhere.
Jehangir Palkhivala returns to Hawaii next month to East Honolulu Yoga Center.
April 11 - 14, 2013
Thursday and Friday - 5:30 to 8:00pm and Saturday and Sunday - 9:00am to 12noon
LIQUID NAMASKARAS and VOWEL MANTRAS. These will be learnt in the context of the Mother Sequence. Wholly different benefits from these Namaskaras may be observed and enjoyed, particularly after a few weeks of practice. Fees: Workshop $240.00, Single Classes $65.00
April 13, 2013
Saturday - 5:30 to 7:30pm: BREATHING in the LORD. A delightful and uplifting practice, especially for those whose hearts are ever-eager to feel oneness with the Lord (or the Light). The practice will combine Ujjayi and Viloma Pranayama. No prior experience of Asana or Pranayama is required to join this session. Fee: $40.00
To Enroll: Download and print a complete flyer and registration form. Classes will be held at East Honolulu Yoga Center, 6650 Hawaii Kai Drive, Suite 104. Honolulu, HI
Even if you have a strong wish to practice regularly, knowing which poses to do for your current session can be challenging to a home practice.
We will have three routines; a 10, 20, and 30 minute sample session to practice and review. We will learn how poses affect our emotional climate and physical needs, and how to sequence such poses for optimal effect.
Along with handouts for sample sessions, this workshop will give you the jumpstart to begin a home practice or refine the one you already have.
I attended Steve Salkin's workshop on shoulders this past Sunday at Big Island Yoga Center and really enjoyed it. We went through a long list of stretches and techniques to address the muscles in and around the shoulder girdle. If you'd like to receive notice of his next class in Kona, sign up for notices through the BIYC website.
One of the things that has always caught my eye there, is the collection of books on yoga that are for sale. It has to be the best on the island. They have always maintained a wide selection, even better than what Borders used to carry.
A good time to go take a look would either be a few minutes before or after a class. Check their schedule and maybe you'll find a class or two. There's even a free class the first Sunday of every month.
John Leebold sent this picture of himself seated next to Guruji, a couple of months ago and I was reminded of it while reading The Lion of Pune, Rumi and I this morning. I've heard many stories about B.K.S. Iyengar from his students, who became my teachers and it's so inspiring to hear that he still maintains a strong practice, well into his 90s.
Now doesn't that make you want to expand your yoga knowledge and experience? There are some highly qualified teachers about to hold workshops in Hawaii that you might like to consider:
Steve Salkin at Big Island Yoga Center, February 10. (Update 2/8/13, 7:48 p.m. I just called to check and there's still space available for Sunday).
Order is a lovely thing; on disarray it lays its wing, teaching simplicity to sing.
The downside of moving three times in one year is that I can't rely on the permanent-marker-pen-labels on my storage boxes. One, labeled "Bookshelf Misc.", now contains a mixture of kitchen and bathroom miscellany so random searches are the real order as I'm unpacking. I've gone from my folks' home to a three bedroom house with a gorgeous view of the Kona shoreline that Tall Guy and I are renting. Boxes from our storage unit are stacked in the garage now and I'm on a mission to get rid of all of my old stuff.
Important items are also showing up. Such as my entire stock of Mother Sequence books that were on their way from India when I closed the studio. As I flipped through a crisp, new edition, I had a distinct urge to write my own notes onto the pages and to chant the twelve mantras while doing the Sun Salutations. For the last two mornings at sunrise, I've enjoyed slowing down the pace of the Suryanamaskaras to match my chanting, and allowing the original dimmer switch that the sun is, to light up the room. My random searches do bring real order.
Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired. -Martha Graham
I'm staying in my parents' house for now, slowly clearing away nearly fifty years of....stuff. Fred and Clara are alive and thriving at the Hualalai Regency with their Lovebird named Happy, their meals and housekeeping handled just to their liking. A fourth floor ocean view, a short drive to the bowling alley and a swimming pool for Fred's exercises complement the cruise. I tell all this, because people usually end up cleaning out their parents' home after a death or incapacity and miss the chance of a pleasant transition. One of my brothers likened it to watching kids go off to college.
For several years now, I imagined that my folks and I would one day live on a little farm. They would have one house, I would live in another, and there would be a yoga barn in the center where I would teach or practice yoga. Although in reality they chose to be near sea-level, instead of up in the farm zone, they are as happy as I had pictured them to be. I'd always planned to help them move out of the old house, so that part of my vision is still in tact. Every few weeks, I fly to California to spend time with #78, so I am as happy as I pictured myself to be, even more than I could have imagined.
But now that I no longer have the luxury of my own yoga studio and the discipline that my teaching schedule provided, I'm left to create and find my own place and time to practice. There is no yoga barn at the old homestead, so I keep my yoga mat spread out in front of the TV that I've unplugged (it turned on by itself several times - another story) with no more than twelve inches of clearance surrounding it. For now, it's the only space I can spare. The carpeted floor makes me wobble and I tell myself that it's good for my balance. I find no semblance of my old routine when I step on the mat and my Grumpy Girl complains.
A few days ago when I read,"Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired", I saw my choices. All of the years spent leading my body into and out of the postures while focusing on the feeling of Joy, has taken effect. My teacher said to inhale the feeling of joy and exhale a sense of peace and contentment. I practiced doing that daily, week after week, year after year. I taught the same thing, over and over. One day, it happened. Like feeling as though you're spinning around even after you've stopped spinning, it's become a response - I feel Joy when I inhale.
No one yoga posture did that. No single mindblowing-weeklong-workshop awakened the Joy within me. My teacher inspired a vision, I had faith and practiced, over and over again - breathe in joy, breathe out peace. Once I could honestly feel those emotions, it became my desire and the focus of my practice, and then my life. As I remember all that, I've decided that I don't need to look for the perfect practice or the perfect place to practice. I want to practice feeling Joy and be open to all of its incarnations no matter what I'm doing and where I am.
I once saw myself living happily-ever-after on a little farm and now I'm living happily-ever-after as I move from house to house, state to state. I'm going to keep exploring the Mother Sequence and all its variations for the rest of my life, I'm certain. Whether I take my body through it for an hour, 6 minutes, or just mentally as I fly across the Pacific, I'll invite perfect Joy. That is my perfect practice.
What perfect desire are you inviting in everytime you practice?
I scored another birthday a few Sundays ago and I'd have to call it the best one yet. The songs and happy wishes began at midnight and continued all day so I decided to end the day by making some very special wishes as I blew out the cake-less candles. At this point in my life, many things that I lightly considered "nice to have", have been gift wrapped and presented to me in such profusion that I wondered what effect a ritual, huff-and-puff-and-blow birthday wish would have.
I brought all the candle holders I have into my living room and lit them, as you see in the photo. One candle held the wish for each person who has ever come into contact with Kona Yoga: may you find the most ideal replacementto suit your needs. It would be nice if everyone held the space open for a new yoga teacher or studio and found their next, best thing. That was my wish. That is my wish and I would love to hear from you when you settle in with a new teacher, a new class, and a new perspective. Namaste.