An Energetic Idea!
For the next few weeks, my assignment, as a student at Brentwood Yoga Center, is to write a summation about discoveries from the work assigned, which IS (drum roll please!), energetic ideas. Okay, I actually shortened this since I need to write a full-page and if I wrote the entire assignment it would:
- Take up too much room on this blog
- Reveal the secret teachings of my yoga guru, Sandy Carmellini and
- Make me look up how the email was actually written
So, I’m just taking off from here. This first day of my practice was focused on the Concave/Convex law again. I started this idea last week and ran out of time and changed everything at the last-minute. I know this sounds very Vata and I am truly more Pitta than Vata, but maybe my Vata is a wee bit out of sorts at times!
Day 1 of my practice this week, I went back to a class that I assisted Sandy Carmelini in a few weeks ago, Yes! a rope wall class that focused on the Concave/Convex law. I did this just to get back in the mind-set. It’s a funny thing when you are a student vs a teacher, especially if you are in a teacher training program with an assignment. In your home practice you tend to talk to yourself during your practice like you are talking to your students. Kind of like practicing, but with a dialogue in your head. You don’t do this on purpose, it just happens. You may just hear the words in your head, but your hear the words.
Day 2 of my home practice, I look through the sequences that I have written (okay, really I have them written in word documents and they are in my Yoga Sequence folder, truly a Pitta thing here!). I pick a sequence every week, and usually modify it for the class I teach on Fridays. I find a sequence of standing poses! I can use this in my Concave/Convex law idea. Not every asana follows the rule, but that’s okay too! I can’t wait for tomorrow to continue the process! I can tell my students about how following the law is generally safer in most circumstances, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do asana’s that don’t follow the rules. Heck If you only followed these rules, you would be pretty limited and let’s face it a pretty boring teacher! I talk myself through about half of the sequence before I have to stop. I know I can pick this up tomorrow where I left off.
Day 3 of my home practice, I continue with the sequence I’ve planned. I modify the sequence here and there like always and “rehearse” what I plan on teaching.
Day 4 is my teaching day. I run through the sequence one more time and go off to class. If I had more than one class to teach in a week, I wonder if I would teach the same sequence in each class or be organized enough to plan each class individually?? No matter, since more than likely it will be another year before I have time for an extra class to teach.
I present the idea on Concave/Convex law to the students. Maybe I didn’t do a very good job explaining it because no one seemed all that interested. I do like the fact that I’m off of my mat more and watching the students through their poses, making suggestions here and there about how to modify etc.
When it came to Tadasana, I decided to share the idea from our last class in teacher training, an idea from Donald Moyer. First I ask the students to do the “usual” Tadasana, engage the quads, engage the arms, naval comes back toward the spine, scapula slide down the back. Then I instruct them to close their eyes and note how that feels. Next, I ask the students to engage their body like before, but this time focus on the manubrium, xiphoid process and the coccyx. Let go of the hard core isometric contractions and close your eyes and tell me how that felt. Wow, they all reported they felt so much more grounded in Tadasana. That’s the way the asanas should feel, grounded, not wobbly!!
It feels rewarding when I bring an idea to class that the students enjoy. The feel of the pose is so important. I seek the same ongoing question that Donald Moyer asks in the article from September/October 2000 of Yoga Journal, “How can I present the principles of alignment in a way that is simple and clear, yet at the same time reflective of the transformative power of Yoga?”