Saturday, January 14, 2012
I just completed Day #3 of the 4 day David Williams Ashtanga workshop and I'm super inspired to develop my daily ashtanga practice. Hearing David speak and tell his stories has been so amazing and just imagining him as a young guy in India learning from Jois is so fascinating. Now, in his later years he does have some good and not-so-good things to say about Guruji. He says that he saw many people badly injured in Mysore due to adjustments and saw people quit their yoga practice for the rest of their lives after being badly hurt. If I do teach, I won't be doing adjustments and after hearing the things he has witnessed, I don't want anyone adjusting me either. More importantly, he spoke in-depth about the bandhas and the breath being the core components of the practice...I hadn't paid all that much attention to the bandhas before and it certainly adds a whole new level of intensity to the practice. Having all the bandhas locked really just gived you such a firm strong feeling in the core and keeps the mind focused. I'm finding it very challenging to keep the mulabandha locked because as soon as the mind drifts even for a second, it goes. Another thing that David said that really resonated with me was that he didn't teach group classes for over 20 years. He just lived in Maui..woke up every morning, had his coffee, swam a mile in the ocean, did his practice and carried on. He said he "never wanted to be a teacher, he wanted to be a yogi." Deep down, that's how I feel as well. I don't think I'm ready to teach. Maybe by the end of my training I'll feel otherwise...regardless, I expect my teacher training to help me deepen my own practice. I just want to be a yogi. I have such a passion and fascination with yoga and I never want to lose that or have it become about money. I can't foresee myself ever owning a studio because I don't want yoga to become business for me. As David said..in India, the worst thing you could be called as a yogi was a charlatan..or someone who exploits yoga for money. I think about Kathryn Budig who greatly inspires me but at the same time I think...yea, she can do all of these amazing things but she herself even said, in my workshop that she's been hurt more times than she'd like to admit...she was actually recovering from a shoulder injury that very day...and now Forbes or Time or something just named her one of the top rising you "businesswomen" or something.. I dislike thinking of yoga as business. America turns pretty much everything into business or something to create revenue from. Maybe it's just human nature but David said that in most of India, yoga was always free (until he got to Mysore.) I suppose all I can do is my best to keep my own practice pure. I envision myself waking up, doing my nauli kriya, having some fresh juice, doing my practice (maybe outside some days or on the beach), meditating and making that a part of my daily life for the rest of my life. I really am just deeply in love with yoga and so thankful that I found my way to it..or maybe it was the other way around.