#45 A Cosmic Connection – Adelaide’s 52 Yoga Project

cosmic yoga

Could you imagine anything more beautiful than doing yoga a stone’s throw from the sand and saltwater?

This is the stuff of many a yogis dreams. Usually it requires an expensive plane ticket to an exotic location, not just a studio down the road.

Cosmic Yoga is a stunning studio in the beachy north-western Adelaide suburb of West Lakes. It lives up to it’s name even in location alone…….

Fresh, beautifully yet simply styled, it is a sensory delight.

I took the trip up there to visit Inese and tried out a really solid “foundation yoga” class. Nice phrase, humbling. Not really sure of what style, what school of yoga was being taught. And I still don’t. Phew. I’m not one for rigid styles, am more interested in the spontaneous mix of whatever suits the world, picking my way through styles, forms and ideas.

In this warm, pristine, happy studio our  teacher reminded us to search for love rather than be consumed by fear. It was great to have an articulate coach use some theming, albeit only implied not explicitly used in asana. (Am reminded again how I love strong interwoven theming in yoga……..)

The vibe of the classroom energy was pretty open and generous. The fluid warm ups were great. Balancing poses with a drishti point – a point of focus (i.e, the water) were delicious. And Inese has the most exquisite yoga music playlist I had ever heard……..oh, that alone……..

But an admission. Faced with fear I am.

I went as a potential new yoga teacher, CV in tow, knowing full well the distance would preclude me from going there to teach regularly, but having to keep exploring the Adelaide yoga community anyway to find my place. Despite being a teensy bit paralysed by the notion of finding my voice to teach, I’m hoping that the notion that “the best students make the best teachers” – hence the idea behind this blog – to explore our yoga community, will help me along.

Here’s some thoughts on being a new teacher. (Bear in mind most true teachers consider themselves new since there is an infinite amount to learn……)

* There is so much more to offer students than simply becoming masterful at most poses then simply showing others how to copy those physical actions.

* To create community, people who “live” yoga all day long, that’s really something.

* As a new teacher, rest in the knowledge what you have to offer (that people desperately need in these times) is far greater than your fear and your inexperience. 

* All teachers (and students for that matter!) ideally should continue to take lots of different classes in lots of different styles. I am learning so much about what resonates with me and my true gifts as I do this yoga project.

* Networking is super-important and we all need mentors and peers to walk with us on our path (aka networking with integrity).

* As Amy Ippolitti’s 90 Monkeys will attest – we all need to keep training, keep meeting other teachers, keep talking about our yoga with our fellow teachers, keep supporting others who join this path.

I love this quote (and really there are so very few who fall into this trap).

“A teacher who ceases to learn forfeits their right to teach” (Lucille Wood, Gita International Yoga, Melbourne)

So, it was refreshing after class to find out that the teachers at Cosmic Yoga share that philosophy of humility, that they are “new” too, they are open to learning more and they are open to giving all that they have for there community. Again, am reminded that this – what I am doing with this blog, is also yoga.

And for that one wonderful day the exchange was far greater than a mere coconut water and a bliss ball.

Bless.

* Oh, by the way, I didn’t try aerial yoga. Will save that for another day. But here are the details…..

http://cosmicyogastudio.com.au/timetable/

COSMIC YOGA STUDIO
1/137 – 139 Brebner Drive
West Lakes SA Australia 5021
(08) 8355 4452
http://www.cosmicyogastudio.com.au
http://www.facebook.com/cosmicyogastudio
namaste@cosmicyogastudio.com.au

 

# 51 It’s the little things – Adelaide’s 52 Yoga Project

smiling

Sometimes the little not-so-good things feel big.

Such was the case with todays class. I had an OK yoga experience. Actually it was a very average yoga experience. Yukky.

At those times it’s a hint to actively explore and find small things to be grateful for. I won’t say where the class was or with whom. I am going to go back again for another class soon, to delve in deeper, try to reveal the layers of feelings that were contained in this class and report back again with more knowledge and equanimity.

Was it me? Was it the teacher? I don’t know, and yet I know there was a learning to be had.

At the time I didn’t know what I was in for, so was open to the experience and all that it contained, and afterwards I felt pretty good. But there was some stickiness. Body felt good, mind good, heart not so good. I felt the class was brittle, dry, empty. Perhaps it was me?

I was I’ll admit, a teensy-weensy bit late.

That may have been it. I wouldn’t ever dare enter after a class had begun. But perhaps she waited for 10, 20, 30 seconds before commencing, while I found my way in and had to be instructed to be in a restorative sivasana? Should it have affected the overall effect of the class, the teacher’s demeanour? Not sure. But it was an opportunity to reflect on time, on yoga etiquette.

Here are some tips………

***If you are late***

********************************************************************************************** Seems from being involved with the yoga community over the years there’s a pretty clear outline of boundaries with yoga lateness, class starting times, etc. Ten minutes early is optimal. One minute early is still OK too, providing you leave your energetic self (and your voice) at the door and come in quietly and respectfully. If the teacher has begun to speak or chant it is fine (from my experience) to wait quietly and unobtrusively and join in at the first opportunity, the first break . However, if you are any later than that, it’s best to go home and come again to another class.

Centring and warm-up especially is crucial to prevent injury and having one disrupted mind can have a surprising affect on the energy of the class, particularly if the class is quite cohesive.

Anyway, if you are late, gather your props quietly, take a space at the back if it’s possible, and if necessary do a short-warm up so you can join the class effectively as soon as you are able.        **********************************************************************************************

In addition to the late issue, here are some aspects I struggled with.

The teacher was light on explanation & adjustments. 

It was silent and serious with an almost-mention of the theme of ego & striving/letting go.

I wasn’t sure what the intent was for the class, we seemed to bounce from restorative to floor, to standing poses. Just didn’t gel for me physically.

As for the small gratitudes – it was a nice sized class. It was quiet. She was direct and precise. There were plenty more aspects to enjoy.

Most importantly I have been reminded again from this class what I love most in a class. I love music with my yoga. I have a preference for a voice with variability from softness to stern. I want it all from my teacher……..I want eye contact, I want them to hold the space for me, I want all the range of emotions, humour, explosiveness, pain, exquisite joy. I want my fellow class members to love yoga as much as I do!

Ah, the ego. Coming out in all her glory. Hopefully next time my ego will be back in her box and all will be well.

Namaste.

#49 Prop Junkie – Adelaide’s 52 Yoga Project

richardsandersyoga

Gee I had fun this day !

There’s nothing I enjoy more than going to a rigorous hatha class and wishing I had a notebook to write down ideas, being sparked about the way a teacher explained something, or experience a kooky pose I’ve never seen before.

That’s the beauty of yoga, it’s endless, vast and there is always so much to learn.

We started out at Exhale doing a weird arm stretch warm-up. No criticism, I think it was just that it wasn’t a formal pose as such, something you can name. Lying on our sides with blankets and bolsters and tip-toeing our fingers over our heads & around, almost onto our backs. It was gold to someone like me who loves new things, likes the new and shiny, is distracted and curious about what else there is to learn……it felt incredible. More please.

And Richard nailed it – the term “prop junkie” is great, cos’ props give you such an extra range to work with, extra ways to determine where your boundaries are in space and extra protection for emerging yogis. Here’s one we did which was very new to me. Chair plough.

chair plough

Now apparently, in some circles, Plough is a bit of a no-no these days, it might be that practitioners are allowing people who are not ready nor truly able to do the pose, or perhaps it simply isn’t something our bodies should do a lot of. You decide – read this article. I’ve always loved plough, and starting out with props (blankets) years ago at an ashram in Quebec, Canada (Sivananda)  I learnt how it could do amazing things to my then-emerging dowagers hump ~ which after a decade has completely gone.

Anyway, in Richard’s class the chair was brilliant. After some confusing looks (am I facing this way? which way? Which way do the blankets face? Where does the chair go? Where do I go?) we emerged victorious and happy – since you could find out where your feet where in the inversion without needing to find the floor. Excellent for beginners.

Anyway, the point is that Richard’s instruction was bang on and the class allowed for people of all abilities to do their yoga thing. And safely and without ego and with good humour from our guide. It was an excellent session, and a space that I intend to inhabit more frequently in future…….

One comment though, it’s early days I know, but so far each of the classes I’ve done, people are very reserved. Is it an Adelaide thing? By the time I got up from Sivasana they were all almost out the door…….not a lot of interaction or smiles & gaiety. Yes, perhaps I’m being too judgemental, and the students obviously had things to go and rush off to do, cook dinner, retreat from a hard day at work.

Merely an observation, but something I am very unaccustomed to. More to learn, always more to learn.

Thanks Richard.

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You can find Richard Sanders multi-teacher Exhale Yoga studio in Goodwood – they have kids yoga, prenatal yoga, etc.

Cnr 72 King William Rd. and Union Street Goodwood, SA 5061

Ph: 0418 819 138
Richard Sanders
Studio Director

Studio available For Hire for workshops.