Wa Yo Yogi

Leanne Kitteridge's adventures in Yoga

Boston TT Day one- Connecting the Pieces October 21, 2008

Well- I am here in Boston. I spent the first day arriving here early and spending the rest of the day exploring my new neighbourhood. The loft we are staying in is near Davis Square in Somerville MA- 10 minutes from Downtown Boston and 5 minutes from Cambridge. ( I use www.VRBO.com to find cool places to stay- if you want to rent the loft contact Alex at CambridgeLoft@aol.com)

Well the loft is amazing- minus the fact that it has no separate rooms and one bathroom…and five people. Included in the group is a couple who don’t get to see each other as often as they like…so it’s a little like roommates in college where you discreetly bugger off for a while to allow for individual time. So far so good.

Near the loft is David Square T- station, Boston’s subway, and a killer crepe shop. I knew it had to be good when I saw their community board covered with yoga info. I had the best coffee and killer crepe- all bell peppers and spiced goat feta and spinach with portobello mushrooms- heaven! The making of the crepes was an art in itself. The crepe maker swirled the wooden tool to make the perfect thickness and then knew exactly the moment to flip it- hundreds a day all made with so much skill. Every crepe I saw come off the griddle were perfect replicas. Amazing.

I packed it in for a nap and the rest of the loft crew started to arrive. In our group we have Christine price Clark( Vancouver), Sjanie McInnis (Vancouver), Shelley Tomczyk (Vancouver), Brent Kuecker ( Portland) and me. It’s an amazing group and we are all learning and sharing together. It’s really nice to see Vancouver really stepping up and being so well represented.

After very little sleep- but a great Tibetan dinner with Brent- we got up early to start “the journey”. It was interesting to see how all of us were nervous and worried about being called on by John. We are all so well studied and should feel fairly confident in our ability but nerves set in and we start to feel small. We had many conversations today on “how to respond if we are called up”. It was almost like the alignment principles for demo teaching.

1) Breathe

2) Look at our group and know we fully support you

3) teach how you always teach- trust yourself- do not suddenly change who you are to be something that you “think” John wants you to be

This seemed to have a calming effect on all of us but we will see what happens when we truly have to practice it! The conversation got better tonight at dinner and we all agreed that if we are not our authentic selves when we demo teach, then how are we supposed to get authentic relative feedback? Why we would do that disservice to ourselves?

John started today with, of course, first principle- Open to Grace. As a teacher, we have to not just create a connection to the universal and to ourselves, but we have to create a connection to everything and everyone around us: more specifically our students. There is a method to creating this connection ; to creating cohesion. I think in some ways that this might be the hardest thing to do. I mean really- how do you get the students to go with you on this yoga journey for an hour and a half if you haven’t connected with them? They might be doing the postures but they aren’t on the journey- they aren’t connected to you and therefore probably not connected to the bigger source. This is one of the reasons John wants us to remember all of our students names. It creates a connection- the student feels that you value them- you value them enough to make that effort. If you make that effort for them then you start to build trust- maybe they will make effort for you- like really getting that front leg square in parsvakonasana. 

When the teacher gets the student to align with the greater flow two things are revealed:

1) They begin to see the interconnectedness between everything. It comes first at the physical level and then on a deeper more spiritual level. (chit)

2) They feel an innate freedom inside. There is a joy- a happiness. (ananda)

I love this because the Anusara method answers the question why? Why do we want to align? We not only want to align for optimal health or healing but because we want something even bigger- we want to align to experience chit and ananda. When we experience chit-ananda the most wonderful thing happens. We get happy. So simple- yet it is the thing that unites all of us- we all want to be happy.

I got happy and connected today when I got to finally meet Meg Abene Newlin from Wisconsin, Christina Sell’s good friend who is part of my “on-line” kula, and Tahnee  Fournier from Ireland. We have been chatting on line and supporting each other from afar for the last year so it was so joyous to see her in person and share food and conversation. She is opening up Anusara in Dublin people so go seek her out if you are there! The icing on the cake was to see my friend Marc St. Pierre- he was with me this year in Japan and he really enriched my practice.

My roomies, my homies, my kula!

My roomies, my homies, my kula!

Well the fabulous dinner is done and now it is time for our homework so I will try to blog more tomorrow.

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