Entries in undefined (3)

Monday
Oct132014

Baby Baking

Just next week it’ll be time for me to go on maternity leave and not teach yoga anymore – for a while. I can’t believe it’s already 7 months since the pregnancy test had a big fat cross on it and my yoga clothes got looser and looser so I wouldn’t have to reveal the little bump until the magical 12 weeks. If things keep going this fast (and I hear they will) the little boy in my tummy will be starting school in no time.

It’s been great to teach restorative yoga all through pregnancy. I’ve said that I’ll keep going as I still have air enough to talk through an hour of mindfulness – and I still do – but as I get to leave 8 weeks before my due date on my other (real) job, I think it’s only fair to stop teaching now too. Besides I can feel that my body just wants to slow down and nest now…

So the next 8 weeks will be spent with my own prenatal yoga practice, restorative yoga, mindfulness, listening to HypnoBirthing tracks and rehearsing my breathing that I’m learning at Smertefri Fødsel. And of course getting ready for the biggest change of my life. I can’t wait to meet the little yogi.

I’ll keep you updated.

Just next week it’ll be time for me to go on maternity leave and not teach yoga anymore – for a while. I can’t believe it’s already 7 months since the pregnancy test had a big fat cross on it and my yoga clothes got looser and looser so I wouldn’t have to reveal the little bump until the magical 12 weeks. If things keep going this fast (and I hear they will) the little boy in my tummy will be starting school in no time.

It’s been great to teach restorative yoga all through pregnancy. I’ve said that I’ll keep going as I still have air enough to talk through an hour of mindfulness – and I still do – but as I get to leave 8 weeks before my due date on my other (real) job, I think it’s only fair to stop teaching now too. Besides I can feel that my body just wants to slow down and nest now…

So the next 8 weeks will be spent with my own prenatal yoga practice, restorative yoga, mindfulness, listening to HypnoBirthing tracks and rehearsing my breathing that I’m learning at Smertefri Fødsel. And of course getting ready for the biggest change in my life. I can’t wait to meet the little yogi.

I’ll keep you updated.

Monday
Apr082013

Ahimsa off the Mat

I spent my Sunday in the company of 12 new yogis discussing the foundation of yoga: philosophy, pranayama, asana and meditation. We dissected the Eight Limbs of Yoga, built up prana during 3 pranayama exercises and used the philosophy and pranayama in a  yoga sequence followed by meditation.

As we were leaving the shala one of the students came up to me and said:

I think I really understand Ahimsa (non violence) now. It’s not just about not harming others. It’s about saying no to things that I don’t want to do so I don’t harm myself. It’s not just about my yoga practice. It’s about my life.

The teacher walked out very proud. And maybe a little more enlightened.

Monday
Jun042012

A Weekend in the Opera with David Swenson

I spent my weekend in the Opera with one of my biggest Ashtanga heros: David Swenson. Listening to David teach was like attending standup comedy for yogis. Never have I laughed so much during practice. Every instruction or philosophical discussion was followed by a funny anecdote or an impression. I particularly liked the Pathabbi Jois imitations (which, by the way, corresponded pretty well with my teacher trainer Mark Anasari's impression of Guruji). David's down to earth approach to the Ashtanga tradition was very liberating for somebody like me (you might know that I struggle with dogmas about determining when it's yoga and when it's not and worry about how much we are free to alter tradition). This following anecdote from David hit the nail on the head.

Once in one of David’s workshop a girl had protested: ‘David, we haven't chanted yet. And if we don't chant we don't follow the Asthanga tradition’. David's answer had been that chanting might scare the people who had just come for the physical aspects of yoga away and that he'd rather have as many as possible discover yoga for whatever reason.  The girl didn't buy this explanation and said: ‘But that’s not following tradition’. A comment not very different from my rants about traditions and definitions here and here. David's answer was. ‘Ashtanga was traditionally only practiced by male Indian teenagers. How many of us in here can fit into that tradition?’  B a m! If it wasn't for altering the tradition I would never have known Ashtanga yoga. 

David's playful approach to the practice shows in workshop names like ‘All Aboard the Ashtanga Train’ or ‘Ashtanga's greatest hits’. By letting us support each other he had us all in handstand, Pincha Mayurasana and lifting out of bridge. I didn't leave uninjured, though. My body is sore as if I'd done cross fit for the first time (so I've heard). I have a burn on my left foot from jumping through and a blue toe on my right foot from thinking I could do it again. As if this wasn't enough I was dropped hanging upside down and pretty much fell on my face. But it was all worth it. 

‘Relax where possible, engage where needed’ was the mantra of David’s teaching and I already feel it supporting my practice and my teaching. Teaching a full beginner Ashtanga class at SenseS Sunday was a beautiful opportunity to pass just a little bit of Mr. Swenson on.

The Opera was a beautiful setting for a spectacular weekend of yoga. Thanks, David, fellow yogis and Peter and Bodil from Yogamudra for setting it up. Much, much appreciated.