Friday, January 15, 2010

From Liz: If Practice Makes Perfect, Then What's the Harm in Props?

What did I learn from a rug burn on my butt? Well, that there must be easier ways to practice svadyaya. But I faced reality: I am simply not clearing the floor on my own. So, I'm investigating the meaning of "do your practice, all is coming." If I'm nowhere near accomplishing the jump-through on my own, then I'm not really "practicing" it at all, right? In order to at least get through the actions, I started using blocks again. I told my ego to shut it and admitted I needed help.

I'm not just using the blocks for the sake of checking the vinyasas off my to-do list. I'm working on jumping back and through, as SLOWLY, and in as controlled a fashion as possible. One of my favorite Iyengar influenced teachers once told me that the slower you move, the stronger you get. So that's my focus for now: almost motionless motion. Quiet, orderly, civilized movement. In service of kick-ass delts. Haha.

The prop talk leads me back around to your prenatal class. Of all classes to not have props in....! :( I've only taught a little prenatal myself. (It's not my thing really. But it's really some people's calling, in fact, I'd bet it's yours.)

But I have taught in some pretty grotty gyms. I'm looking at you, Bally's. It makes you develop a really thick skin, doesn't it? You become MacGyver Yogini. You get really creative with walls and chairs, and learn to ignore the creepy weirdos leering through the glass. (Nothing makes you butch up like having to chase away a couple of 'roid heads who are harrassing your students.) Or, in your case, you learn to ignore the unflattering lighting.

By the way. Where you get inspiration from? I've been really pushing myself to seek out and plumb new resources. Not just yoga stuff either. I've gotten back to reading a lot of fiction. And a lot of just really good writing (M.F.K Fisher for starters, the woman could write about a garbage pail and make it elegant and concise). Also, design blogs: clothing, interior design, etc. There is something about seeing people practicing their craft well that really drives me out of bed and onto the mat in the morning. And of course, the cyber-shala. Maybe I'll put together a list of my current faves for next post.

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