21 May, 2013


Today was Gentle Yoga with Elizabeth McElveen.

Today was not that intense, in terms of number of poses, but I still found it to be intense, in terms of the depth of the poses we did. And I also felt a great amount of fatigue due to Michel's class the day before. The plan was to do this class, and then go to the "True North" workshop immediately after. So it was important that I have enough energy. This was somewhat jeopardized by only having seven hours of sleep, which I have been learning is not enough. My low back was aching. And when it came time for Half Moon pose, I was actually amused at how weak and unstable I felt. It was an act of extreme concentration to finally "stick it" on each side.

The room was full of many of the usual faces, and the crowd is growing. I feel like Elizabeth's magic is spreading, and more people know about her and are attending regularly. There is a small army of friends who have a passion for her style of teaching, and who attend almost religiously. It is a kind of religion. We're all seeking something, it seems. And we are seeking in a similar way. There are some students in the class with whom I have regular conversations. And there are others with whom I have barely exchanged a word, although we may often be side-by-side. And in both cases, I know there's something in Elizabeth's style and words that speaks to us. And I like that there can be this shared connection even if only through mutual gravitation.

A friend of mine, also a yoga teacher, has been writing about the challenges of balancing the art and purity of the teaching of yoga with the more practical side of making a living doing it, including building a following, a community, and becoming "successful" at it. There's a paradox in there, because popularity is essential to success and income, but it is also easily a feeder of ego, which takes us in the opposite direction of what the entire practice is about. Fortunately, I don't think this plays itself in any negative ways with respect to Elizabeth's classes, except that now I am often trying to find "a good spot" in a room of 25-30 people, instead of 12 people.

There were some pretty deep stretches today. I feel that I have a lot of bendy-ness in my low back, which perhaps is not a good thing with the pain that I tend to have there. I don't have much difficulty, from the perspective of my back, in doing forward folding. But I am not sure how good it is for me.

Perhaps it would be better to judge that after I have had enough sleep.

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