So much happened on day five of training. It was like all the information we had taken in during the first four days were thrown into a centrifuge and spun around at this high velocity so that at the end of the day only the essential elements of the teaching were left. It was brilliant. I can’t believe in a year how much my practice has grown, changed, and opened. I compare myself to this time last year when I first studied with John in Maui. I thought I knew something about Anusara and then got there and realized I knew next to nothing. This year I prepared, studied, applied myself and realized I knew much more than last year…. but I still knew nothing. The bar is continually raised.
The Japanese have to be some of the best yogis I have ever seen. They have this wonderful mix of openness and strength. I kept thinking of yanagi- willow trees. They bend and drape with exquisite beauty but they are still so strong at the core. Mika- the princess- regal and graceful. Misa- big beautiful eyes like a child but with a inner strength. Tomoko- beautiful on the inside and out- her heart is so compassionate. Keiko- bright like a little star with a quick mind to match. Kana- from her funky nails to her big smile she has the best laugh- she is lalita. Aki- so soft and luminous- she shines from the inside out. I learned so much from all of them- I hope our friendships will continue and grow through the years.
The last afternoon we did a 90-minute class taught by John. He took everything he had taught us during the week and applied it all in one class- he wrote everything on the board before we started- what the crescendo pose was and worked back and forward from there. He wrote down times for the sequencing to ensure there would be time for a slow down and good meditation at the end. He wrote down the heart theme and the alignment focus. Then he kicked our butts- in the best way possible of course. It was fun and exhilarating with full musical accompaniment. Ty Burhoe– Amy Ippoliti’s husband- played the tabla.
I saw all the backbend sequence and I knew it was going to be challenging for me- the high point was full eka pada rajakopatasana – my favorite pose to look at…but not necessarily to do. (I do have a great pose lust for it though) It is the full pigeon backbend holding on to one foot. My students are probably laughing but you have to understand the high physical level of the yogis in the room- you guys don’t think I am stiff but compared to them I am! I was actually stiffer this week than normal- it was frustrating. I tried to let go as much as I could. When I could no longer hold a backend, rather than coming down frustrated at my abilities, I looked to Kana on one side of me and Aki on the other and celebrated their abilities- they were having so much fun.
I am so grateful to my family and friends who made this trip possible. I am grateful to John for accepting me for training. I am grateful to Christina for preparing me properly. I am grateful to my Kula at home- Shelley, Lauren, Carol- whose faith in my ability to teach is unwavering…even when I question myself. I am especially grateful to my husband Chris- I couldn’t be on this path without him. He was also Mr. Mom for a whole week and he didn’t complain once! Tokyo teacher training was the highlight of my Anusara training to date- a bringing together of my two passions- yoga and Japan. Now all I can think of is how can I get back here next June!