Saturday, March 27, 2010


It’s Earth Hour. I’m typing this post by candlelight, running my laptop off of a battery. But there are no lights on in my apartment! Only candles. Does that count?

It was fun watching all of the lights in the big office towers trickle off. I have a full view of the skyline and I have to admit, it’s a little less twinkly than usual.

Today was excessively busy and I’m exhausted. But I had fun. In the morning, I did a quick YogaDownload vinyasa class to launch my day. I enjoyed 30 minutes of ‘Yoga for Buns #1’ with Dawnelle. I miss these classes! I can’t remember the last time I did a ‘crescent lunge’ (a signature YogaDownload move: a high lunge with the back knee lifted). This class included some unique variations intended to target the gluteals. I jotted down a few notes so I can use some of it in my Hatha classes. My favourite was a table pose with back leg extended and ‘pulsing’ (there was a lot of pulsing).

The Yoga Show is turning out to be a lot of fun (I knew I would warm up to it). I seriously considered signing up for a couple of workshops and I even had money budgeted, but I spent that money on Kino’s workshops instead and it’s a far better value.

As a yoga teacher, the ’show’ part of the conference is gratis and there’s a lot to see. As I did last year, I’m spending much of my time in the ‘Yoga Garden’ where the free classes are offered. Most of the ‘big names’ move through there eventually. It’s amazing how much you can learn in a a short time slot! Sadly, I missed Seane Corn again this year (I was teaching during her session), but I caught a few of the other ‘big names’.

Dharma Mittra is a trip! For the first two minutes he spoke, I couldn’t understand a word he was saying. Finally, I fell into the rhythm of his speech and he became instantly comprehensible - it was eerie, like someone turned on the translator! The best part about Dharma’s session was watching Dharma. The dude’s 70+ and he can casually bend back and grab his ankles. He makes it look easy! I really enjoyed him!

Sadie Nardini’s session was very interesting, emphasis on core work. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by her depth of knowledge and creativity. She strikes me as a generous person who is passionate about her work. The fact that she’s so willing to offer knowledge freely in a public forum (YouTube) is impressive to me. I’m going to check out her videos.

As always, Natasha Rizopoulos was dynamic, funny and informative. I really enjoy her because our teaching styles are very similar - I always take away some great cueing from her sessions. This year, she talked about twists and how to bring the work of a twist into the thoracic spine (she observed that this opening carries over into backbending as well). If I was going to pay for a workshop, I would fork over the big bucks for Natasha’s (Sheesh, how many pages of notes would I take with *two hours* of Natasha?). Maybe next year.

Bo Forbes absolutely blew me away with her short presentation on the Bandhas. This was one of the few sessions that I actively participated in. We spent the entire sequence laying on the floor, isolating Mula and Udiyana Bandha, eventually bringing movement and breath into the mix while engaging the Bandhas. It was *brilliant*! This was the one session applies directly to my own practice.

My favourite session was a Canadian: Ottawa-based Yin teacher Mark Laham. I was lucky enough to enjoy a 90 minute session with Mark. I took pages of notes and learned a few new tricks that I can apply to the classes I teach. He focused on hip opening which is perfect because my students love it and I need it!

I’m attending a few sessions tomorrow and that’s it. I already did my shopping. I bought a much-coveted bamboo stole from Half-Moon and a bamboo headband from Respecterre (I’ll see how it works. If the headband concept is useful for me, I may shell out for the Halo). I also bought a new bag for my Manduka, one with a side zipper. Since I’m schlepping it around town, I needed a better bag and one that is user-friendly.


LadyRayCello said...

If you ever make it to NYC, you should go to Dharma's monthly Maha Sadhana. It's awesome. He's the cutest thing ever, isn't he? Last year I went on a three-day labor day retreat with him in the Catskills. All raw food. He likes to lecture about being vegetarian too. And eating only watermelon for three days. Heh.

Bo Forbes is great -- she's local but I can never make her classes....

Love Natasha too! I've taken a bunch of her workshops and she's so articulate yet nurturing.

Yoga Journal conference in Boston is coming up and I'm going to take classes with David Swenson, Shiva Rea, and Richard Freeman. I'm really looking forward to it! But man that thing is expensive....

Kaivalya said...

Dharma Mittra does lecture, it's true, but very gently. He talked to us about expanding our circle of compassion to include people outside our 'families and pets', which made me think of Princess Fur, of course! :-)

All those conferences are pricey and it does add up. David Swenson is amazing - I'm envious! You'll learn a lot from him.

Richard Freeman's studio is located in Boulder, Colorado, where I lived for almost five years. Alas, I wasn't doing yoga then. I mentally kick myself just thinking about it! lol