10 September, 2012

Equal parts Buddha and Mona Lisa

Today was Power Vinyasa with Bill at Open Doors.

After two days of home practice, I was definitely looking forward to getting back to a studio, with an instructor, and more of a feeling of connection in the practice. I was also excited about revisiting Bill's class, since the previous one had been such an inspiration. The second time around did not disappoint. He started class by talking about how important and powerful intention is. Merely thinking a thought sets us on a path in a direction. He gave an example about how making a decision that we need a new car suddenly results in us noticing all of the cars on the road, even if it was something we never did before. And once we purchase the car, and that intention is no longer present, we may stop noticing all the cars again, because we've moved on to some other thing. The idea is that setting an intention elevates awareness to all things related to that intention and, in a sense, is at the heart of bringing that intention to reality.

Class was very difficult. The sequences were all kind of a shuffle-up of the regular Baptiste flow. We didn't do any Warrior I poses at all. We used Utketasana as a sort of linker between every series in our flow, with an extra variation being that we would rise to standing from Utketasana, rather than folding forward, to delineate the end of each sequence. Lots of Crescent Lunges in this class and lots of twisting.

When we started our floor series, Bill told us a story about his own intention. Up until a few months ago, he had been a part-time yoga teacher, and part time running his own business. He came to a point where he decided, in his mind, that he really wanted to do the yoga teaching all the time. Interestingly, from that point onward, he never was contacted about another job for the other business. He went on to take some additional training, and has moved in the direction of his intention. And it all started with that simple thought that this was what he wanted to be doing.

At the very end of class, he did a reading from Andrew Cohen about the Clarity of Intention. I won't paste the content here, but you can find it on this website if you're interested.

If you're curious about the title of this blog, Bill mentioned that one of his favorite yoga instructors likes to say that our facial expression when we are practicing yoga should be like we are the child of Buddha and Mona Lisa: complete calm, but with a hint of mischief.

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