Session 4

January 13-15, 2012

We begin the weekend, as always, in meditation together. I am glad to be here after a hectic Christmas and New Year’s season full of travel and family obligations. I welcome ushering in 2012 in this quiet reflective way. I find that I long for a full daily yoga practice to compliment my nearly daily meditation practice. I renew my commitment to rising just 30 minutes earlier each morning.

Ananda Deviika Ma  starts off the lecture talking about the gunas: sattva, rajas and tamas. These qualities of nature exist in all beings though vary in concentration. A description of the gunas can be found in the Bhagavad Gita where Krishna tells Arjuna about the qualities of the gunas.

This weekend we also discuss Aruveda and learn about the 3 doshas: kapha, pitta and vatta

I notice that as we talk about the doshas, and the foods mainly related to each dosha, I see how profoundly my diet effects my physical, emotional and etheric body. I reflect on the past week’s menu of cheese pizza (twice) and ice cream 3 nights in a row. No wonder I feel lethargic, unfocussed, bloated and more difficult to feel my connection to the earth/creator. While I am not lactose intolerant, per se, my body does not thrive with so much dairy. I see how this “junk food” binge is directly tied to feeling stress and the need to shine the light of consciousness on that old personal and collective pattern.

In the afternoon, we discuss the recent New York Times article “Yoga will wreck your body” article and NPR’s forum talk on the subject. We have talked so much about the importance of honoring your body in your practice and encouraging students to do the same. How we can make suggestions about alignment to students. We’ve been asked to be curious and ask ourselves “why is the student moving this way” before putting our hands on them. To ask “where am I coming from” so the suggestion is not coming from a place of ego.

Karma Yoga: Each session we are assigned a short (15-20 minute) karma yoga assignment that are done as a small group or individually. Some of the duties include turning the compost or sweeping the porch. This weekend I am given the task of “rug shlepper” to remove the rug from the room to make way for our yoga mats. I had just injured my wrist moving a rug at my friend’s the previous weekend so I asked if anyone was willing to swap assignments with me. I was delighted that one of my fellow classmates, Joy, cheerfully agreee. She is so suitably named.

We’ve have started leading poses in class and notice the sometimes clumsy transition to doing the pose physically to leading the pose verbally, “cue-ing the pose”. There is such a wide variety of life experience that is brought to the mat and each one is on a journey to find our heart voice and deliver it with both confidence and tenderness. I am thrilled to among these knowledgeable soon to be yoga teachers!

I will be student teaching with 2 other students on Feb 11th, I am both excited and nervous! Stay tuned!

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