We are living in crazy and interesting times right now. We have suspended our classes and basically closed our studio until the Corona virus is a thing of the past. Since none of us know when that time in the future will be, we are once again, as always right here in the present moment.
I run, or used to run a tiny, sweet, even adorable yoga studio. This tiny, sweet, even adorable yoga studio was a refuge for many from the aspects of life that pull us away from ourselves. This yoga studio was a powerful place with amazing energy being harvested, released and recycled into more life energy. This space held many of our practices together. For years I did my practice after the morning mysore classes. The heat was on, I had my yoga clothes on and it was not a long commute to my mat. Would that we could get together and I teach a class and then do my practice in this mighty little studio right now when we really need it. Alas we cannot. So what can we do?
What we can do, what I am doing is continuing to practice. I am staying close to my alter ego, The Kapo Kid. She, The Kapo Kid still rides into my life, my body and saves the day when I get on my at and get myself deeply enough into myself to once again summon her up. This morning, was our first Sunday morning in a long time that we did not teach a Sunday Mysore and then practice at the tail end of the room’s energy. This morning we got up into our home practice space and started doing some Suryanam As. It started out pretty rough, I had a pot full of tea in my belly. I was wondering just how little yoga I could let myself get away with and still be able to tell myself that I had done my practice. But then it happened. That switch that sometimes flips after a few As and Bs. That switch that reveals my desire to do not the least amount of yoga I can get away with, but rather the yoga that is best for this particular time on my mat right now. Sometimes I have one of those life changing practices that truly inspires, and sometimes I do a few Suryanmas and call it a day. If I wait for the urge, the desire for the yoga to happen before I get on my mat I could wait a long time. Sometimes I cant find the switch, and that is fine too. I did my practice.I did some yoga.
Today I did an hour of yoga, and yes The Kapo Kid appeared several times. Every damn day it feels like I am winning the day when I put myself in the environment of body and mind to allow a chance to get a glimpse of that switch that changes my mind from thinking about the least amount I can get away with to thinking about allowing myself the best practice I can manage. And yet it is everyday a struggle to get on my mat, and I have been wrestling with my practice and this switch for 30 years. So maybe you need a little help getting on your mat and finding your own switch, your own desire to give your practice attention.
There are some interesting on-line classes that may be a good option for some of you. My recommendation for the best, most local place to start investigating on-line Ashtanga is with Stacy Ingham owner, founder and primary teacher of Ashtanga Yoga School of Raleigh. Register ahead of time at www.aysraleigh.com on the class schedule page. When you’re registered you’ll receive an option on the calendar to “view broadcast” Click there and you’ll be taken to zoom and to the class 🙂
Nikos is aiming to take Stacy Ingam’s led Moon Sequence (Monday is a moon day) on line via zoom tomorrow at 6PM. She is also offering some on-line Mysore style classes too.
I encourage you to try some of her on line classes. She, like many teachers is new to this online teaching world, so you will be exploring this adventure together. And I also strongly recommend you poke around David Garrigues website https://davidgarrigues.com/ He has been offering online options for years, and there is a wealth of free information and learning tools to dig into on his site. The asana kitchens are fantastic. He also has a led primary and led second sequence on offer in his on line store and they are well worth the money. Over the years I have done more led primary’s to David’s voice than I can count on all of the fingers and toes of all of the students of AYCD.
Nikos and I have put our toes into in the online yoga world to the extent that we are able and are offering a Saturday morning 9AM Led Primary type of class via Instagram’s live feed from the new account Nikos created AYCDurham. Nikos leads me through the Primary Series and says good stuff about breathing and bandhas and lines of energy to be thinking about. You can follow along on your mat and hopefully feel sort of connected to us. I think maybe Nikos is doing this offering to make sure I get on my mat and get a rhythm going fast enough so I break a little sweat and remember once again how grateful I am to the Primary Series for being there at the start of my journey into Ashtanga.
But mostly I encourage you to get on your mat, all by yourself, and do your practice. There is lots of yoga knowledge in there. Nikos and I have taught those of you who practice at AYCD a ton of great yoga. If you practice at another studio, give the same thing a try. Get on your mat and get into your practice and see what you find. Give yourself a chance to see that you can do it all by yourself with no one watching, with no one cueing anything, with no one but yourself being accountable for your practice. And of course hopefully in the not too distant future we will all meet in an enthusiastic, hard working, joyful, serious, and good natured mat to mat crowded mysore room.
Till then. No one can do your practice for you. Go in and give your practice some of your undivided attention. Let your practice become confident that you have or can develop a practice, and can and will take care of it all by yourself. Now is the time to develop or rekindle a self practice.
Some days I get on my mat and do a few Suryanam As, a shoulder and/or headstand and call it a day. Some days all I can manage is long down dog and then put my legs up the wall and breath for a few minutes. Here is my friend and teacher David Garrigues motto: “Doing any yoga, under any circumstances, for any amount of time, at any time, with no additional expectations or obligations is better than none.”
If it is some yoga it counts as yoga.
Today is a good day to do any amount of yoga.