In an absolute windfall of awesomeness, I have been picked up by another yoga studio, and have brand new classes at all three that I am working with!
On my home page, all details will be listed, but in short, I have the following in September:
Mondays at 10 am, Yoga Basics at Willow Glen Yoga
Tuesdays at 7 pm, Vinyasa for All at Downtown Yoga Shala
Wednesdays at 10:45, Full-Figured Yoga at Almaden Yoga (a 4 week series beginning 9/14)
Thursdays at 6:30 am, a refreshing dose of Vinyasa at Willow Glen Yoga
What luck, right?!? I hope to see some (oh, heck, all of you!) there sometime. If you have questions, please email me.
On to weightier matters, recently I read Yoga Beyond Belief by Ganga White, and honestly, I think it may be one of my most favorite reads ever, and definitely at the top of the list for yoga and mind/body books in general. One of the many quotes in this work that I liked follows.
Advancing in yoga is more related to refining than to attaining. If you want to know if you are advancing in yoga, ask yourself these questions: Am I gaining greater understanding of my body? Am I learning how to heal myself? Am I learning subtler and different ways of using the poses and how each asana affects the body to produce different results…Am I beginning to get some control of my own autonomic nervous system and some of the unconscious processes of the body? Am I less rigid in my beliefs and less fixed in particular systems and structures? Am I alive and awake in my practice, constantly questioning and willing to vacate my position–figuratively and actually? Am I questioning, not only of others but of myself? Is my mind becoming more open, compassionate, more peaceful? (White, Ganga Yoga Beyond Belief: Insights to Awaken and Deepen your Practice Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2007)
One person may not feel all of these shifts all in one go, but you might get a taste of them. Often, we focus so much on the “progress” of the asana, which, let’s face it–it’s a clear measurement, but we forget all the intangible benefits of yoga.
When I was a much, much, younger woman, I came out of a very bad relationship. It was all the dysfunction, without any of the “fun” in it. Having come out of a chaotic home life, into a relationship with a very unpredictable man for the formative years of my adulthood 5 of them!), I craved stability of any stripe. The man and I separated, and consequently, I was easy pickings for a very strict religious sect in which I attempted to live “by the rules” for the next 5 years of my life. Eventually, this led to a real disconnect for me that was absolutely shattering. When I picked up the pieces again of my life, I made this my litmus test for religion and philosophy: does it make me kinder? If it doesn’t make me a kinder person, it is not the place for me.
Look through that list above, and honestly, if you love yoga, read the whole book. It isn’t a hard read at all. But, is your practice making you kinder? Is it making you more open? Compassionate? Self-aware? Peaceful? Are you coming to greater self-knowledge? Are you sensitive to your flesh and subtle bodies?
It’s a great thing to burst through into a new asana. It really is. But, it isn’t the only measure of progress. Drop a line in the comments to let me know how yoga has affected you.
6 thoughts on “New Classes Launching and Finding Progress in your Practice”
Very happy this is happening for you, Kaye. Wishing you the best with this venture!
Thanks, Barbara! Let’s get you doing some yoga! 🙂
Congratulations on the Almaden class! From what I understand they came looking for you, which is super awesome!!! I just downloaded Yoga Beyond Belief, looking forward to diving in. Your post maybe think of Peter’s last visit to the Shala and the first question he asked was “is your yoga working for you?” Which really made me stop and put my practice in perspective. I’ve asked that question in my class as a way for folks to think about how to make the practice work for you off the Mat. After reading the section you posted from the book I think another way to ask that question is, “are you allowing the practice to work for you off the Mat?” Because there’s no question it will work!:-)
You always have such a super way of reframing my posts! Love it! I missed that first session with Peter that day, but I can totally see him asking that. I’m hoping to hit YOUR Wednesday class soon.
Congratulations on all the new classes, how wonderful for you and your new students!
I love that quote and the idea that there are many ways to define, evaluate and measure progress, growth, success. I have been working for several years on redefining myself image when I look back at my career (before Yoga Teaching) and now while processing my mother’s death, redefining myself as both a daughter and a mother. Guess I’ll add my asana practice into the mix. Some days I push myself but more and more lately I’m using my time on my mat to just be with myself, sometimes in a pose and sometimes just resting.
The reevaluation never really stops, right? That resting in yourself on the mat is a special place to be, and I think it is a new landmark in a developing practice, that shows that yoga is really beginning to internalize in you. Thanks for your comments and congratulations. I hope to make it to one of your classes soon!