Monday, February 18, 2008

Advanced Intensive: day 1

We had a slow time getting the internet set up in the house that we are renting but hopefully now things will run smoothly there. I am pretty tired after a full first day so this will be brief and then it is off to bed. Sounds like there has been a lot of snow at home. It has been raining steadily here with pretty cold temps for Tucson. We have actually been pretty cold. Kind of ironic.The first day was fantastic, a much more mellow vibe than in years past yet still with mind-blowing asana. It is truly amazing to look around a room and see everybody doing a difficult posture without much instruction, a prop or a partner. (Christina took some great photos and they are up on her blog). One thing that really struck me is that something like viparita chakrasana (handstand to Urdhva Dhanurasana and back to handstand) that in the past has always been a partner pose, half of the room was able to do on their own. Whoa... All of my friends that I practiced by were definitely laying it down and I would wait for them to be done and then come over a spot me. Totally amazing! Of course, now I am thinking, how can I: a) learn how to practice this at home on my own with no spot, or b) teach someone to spot me. The cool thing is though, that I really got the feeling of oh yeah, I can do this, and in the past I had really written something like that off for my practice.Really and truly the energy of the group is so great. There are around 145 folks in the intensive and everybody is very kind and full of joy to connect with old friends and make some new ones too. The invocation is so beautiful with this many people, especially because everyone is so sensitive, really tuning into one another and looking for the harmony, not trying to stand out on their own. John is to credit for this, as well as the sophistication of the community. But he really sets the dominant energy and everyone aligns to that. And his energy is very powerful but perhaps more gentle than I have ever experienced it. There is no pushing or forcing, just a lot of waiting for the opening and going in with reverence and focus.That was actually the theme of the afternoon. The way that the days are broken down is that the first hour of each session we spend going through the Spanda Karikas, one of the main texts of the Tantric tradition. Then we do 2 hours of asana (which really ends up being around 2 3/4 hours, so I do not feel so bad about perpetually ending class 10 minutes late!).So now I must really go to bed. I miss you all. I hope that you are enjoying the snow. More later. Love.

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