Saturday, March 27, 2010

Virabhadrasana: Warrior Spirit

I am your Warrior Spirit
name me
honor me

I am here

I am in the world
of the world
for the world

I see with clarity
I act with love

red as Blood
bright as Sun
black as Night
light as Moon

I am your Warrior Spirit
name me
honor me

I found this old poem while working on clearing my studio. It was in a handout I used way back when I did a Warrior Woman workshop as part of the Women and Spirituality conference that takes place in Mankato, Minnesota.

I love warrior poses. Nearly all classes that I teach include at least one warrior vinyasa variation, from ultra gentle to my more vigorous Windhorse vinyasa classes.

My Warrior Spirit Name? I have several, including Walks with Horses and Jeneralissimo. What's yours?

(Please use the comment feature to reply).

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Ooozing into Shoulder Stand

Today we had a small class at Lyric, which gave us the opportunity to move mindfully into shoulder stand. I was inspired by a video of Rama Vernon, who demonstrates how to get into shoulder stand over a deliciously long period of time.

We used the wall, and began with viparita korani, legs up the wall pose. I had the students organize externally at the center of their heels to their 'sit bones', and then sensing an energetic 'draw' down from the heels into the sit bones, while feeling an opening in the front of their hip joints, where the legs meet the pelvis.

We then shifted into neutral post, to take the mind deep into the central core - the spinal column and muscles in close to the spinal column, the psoas, and the little 'braiding' muscles of the erector spinae and the multifidae. I think of them as braiding muscles.

Then back to legs up the wall, organizing the physical alignment, and the energetic alignment. From there, letting the mind connect in to the spine and start braiding, slowly and deliberately, using the feet against the wall for support.

One student, who loves shoulder stand, hurried a little, and reported some back tension. She caught it, however, so now knows that maybe waiting a little will be more beneficial. The other student however, really took her time to find the ooze. Ahhhhhh.

Long and delicious.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pay Attention Please! Gary and his Yoga time.

It's a bit of a muck out at the barn, what with the heavy rains we received in Tucson. I go to the barn after teaching Peaceful Yoga at Yoga House, so I'm usually in a teaching and helping frame of mind and have an idea of what I would like to do. Today my thoughts were on practicing our Walks with Horses movements and postures in preparation for offering this as a regular yoga class.

The horses teach me that it's important to be open to the moment, or as I like to say, plan, but don't plan on it.

I got Gary out to groom, and realized it was time for the shedding blade. YAY! Spring is on the way, and this year the wildflowers and waterfalls for Tucson hiking should be awesome. He's been having some neck stiffness (isn't it funny that this month my Focus Yoga class is on neck and shoulders?), C3 on the right side, C5 on the left. We went out to work on neck releasing at the pranic level and through practicing our ground work serpentines. So far, so good.

We stopped to talk to Lisa, but Gary was cranky about that. Usually he's quite happy to hang out while we talk, Lisa was his former owner, and he adores her.

But not today. He chewed on his leadrope, walked forward, and otherwise engaged in rude behavior.

I have some choices here; one is to get on his case for being rude. Another is to just give in and do what he wants. Another is to ask him to back off, and then reward that with getting back to the business at hand. There may be some more, but I chose the latter. Truth is, he was uncomfortable with the status of his neck, we were in the midst of his practice, and, well, maybe I was being rude? Lisa and I both agreed to talk later, and Gary and I went back to his practice.

Each day, something new, something reminded. Thanks, Gary.