Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fakin' It Yoga Style

My yoga teacher, Jennifer, is leaving the studio I attend to concentrate on private coaching. While I'm trying to be all zen about it and wish her well, I am feeling a bit, 'but what about me?'

I've been doing yoga on and off for about 10 years (more off than on). A few years ago, I discovered Ashtanga Yoga through a video by Beryl Bender Birch entitled Power Yoga. I really took to this form of Yoga which is a set series of poses, each one designed to move you toward the next pose. These poses open up and realign the body. My explanation is rather rudimentary, here is a better explanation.

My point though is thatI connected with Ashtanga Yoga and I've been searching for Ashtanga classes ever since. It has been difficult finding instructors who teach this form; some people find doing the same poses class after class boring. Then, last fall, I happened upon this teacher, Jennifer who taught it twice a week! I've been gluttonously taking her classes for the past few months and it's been nothing short of amazing. My flexibility and strength have improved and I'm running longer distances. I've gone from 2 to 3 miles at a time to running 6 to 7 miles. None of my other yoga classes (and I've taken many) have had such an effect on me. I have heard the Ashtanga is a great form of yoga for runners.

The best part is that Jennifer really gets to know her students. She corrects us verbally and physically. A lot of Yoga teaches will not adjust students for fear of offending them but not Jennifer. She gets right in there and pushes you to your edge; gently of course.

So I'm attempting to be in the moment and enjoy my last few classes with her but then I realize that I can't even go to her last class because my kids are off from school that day. Why they get Holy Thursday off is beyond me. I mean Good Friday I can understand, but Holy Thursday? They had a meal, Jesus started talking and everyone fell asleep. Oh, he did wash their feet but really, a whole day off for that?

And yes, I am a Catholic but not really devout if you couldn't tell.

I'm also failing at the whole zen-yogi thing, obviously.

There is a phrase I've heard in yogic circles, 'When you are ready, a teacher will appear.' I really believed that when I discovered Jennifer's classes. Now I think they forgot to add the corollary, 'but use the teacher quickly because she's going to move on soon.'

That reminds me of another phrase that Jennifer is fond of during class, 'fake it till you make it,' meaning attempt the pose as best you can until you can actually do it correctly.

So in the spirit of faking it: Jennifer I wish you well and hope your new path brings peace and joy.


No comments:

Post a Comment