I landed home from Boston at 2:00 in the morning on Friday, spent Saturday recouping and preparing, and on Sunday I taught my workshop. This was Hari Om’s first official workshop and I am please to say we ended up with 15 people. We even had a few like Marcia who came all the way from Kamloops! My friend Lara Luer who is an Anusara Inspired teacher in Chilliwack even came out. It is really a nice treat because students who come to workshops are looking for more. The have a sense of curiosity and wanting to grow their practice so they come into the room pretty much ready to learn. It was a great group.
The workshop was on the Universal Principles of Anusara Yoga. They belong to the second of the three A’s that guide Anusara Yoga: Attitude, Alignment, and Action. Sometimes Anusara can be billed as “all about spirals and loops” but really, it is a heart-based practice that uses the alignment to better refine so we can get more joy out of our practice. I could teach someone all the alignment principles , and it could better their practice, but it wouldn’t be Anusara. This is what I was really trying to emphasise as I taught the workshop because we take a small part of the big picture and teach it out of it’s full context. I tried at the beginning of the workshop to create a framework for what was to follow so that the alignment was seen in it’s true position: second to Attitude. Attitude is saying- “I do this practice for something greater. I do this practice as a way to remember I am connected to something bigger. I do this practice as a way to go to my own heart. I do this practice as a way to teach me how to offer out my gratitude.” In a nut shell: I do this practice to remember and to celebrate- Chit/Ananda.
So the whole time I am teaching alignment principles , I am gong back to Chit/Ananda. I am hoping that I satisfied those that came for technical information, those that came because they like Anusara, and those that are just beginners on the path. It was a varied crowd.
The way I teach the Universal Principles of Alignment ( UPA’s) is through a lot of hands on, visual aids, and partner work. I am becoming known for my yards of flagging tape that I bring to this workshop. We all tie each other up in flagging tape to visually see where the spirals start and stop and how they move. It was a teaching method I stumbled upon when trying to get some clarity for myself and my teacher, Christina Sell, suggested I teach it to others- Voila- a workshop is born. The UPA’s are a lot to cover in one 3 hour workshop, but I try to tell the students to just have fun and if they get one “a-ha” moment then that should feel good. One student, Ian, told me happily that just figuring out his back leg in standing poses was worth the cost of the workshop. So good to hear!
I think I carried a lot of shakti back from the training in Boston and everything I learned there about my weaknesses I started to work on that very day. I tried some new things which I like- (we will see how my regulars react!) It was a fun morning and the studio did a lovely job of hosting. We mananged a little water and orange break and then finished with a 30 minute practice implementing what we had worked on. I could see from my regular students movements that they had gained some clarity- everyone in the room looked really solid- and they even smiled.
They remembered, they aligned and they had fun- and they left feeling better about themselves. Welcome to Anusara Yoga!