Ashtanga Confluence 2013: Day 1, Feeling the Transformation

6:00 am — get up and do my morning ritual: stretch a little.  Start hydrating.  Get centered with a short meditation.   Wash up before class.
7:00am — two hour primary series practice with Dena Kingsberg.
Led Primary with Dena
Led Primary with Dena

9:00am — hot shower

10:00am — breakfast on the patio under the sun, blue skies and the crystal blue bay sparkling in the distance

11:30pm — A panel discussion by the Ashtangi masters on the legacy of Pattabhi Jois

The panel of Who's Who of Ashtangis
The panel of Who’s Who of Ashtangis

1:30pm — Relax

4:00pm — Bandhas with my teacher Tim Miller

6:00pm — The Hanuman Chalisa with Tim Miller — *the highlight of my day

Dreams do come true.  My body feels great and my mind feels as though it has been cleansed.

My biggest lesson today was sparked by this question:  Wouldn’t it be great if our minds would go where are bodies go?

Even after practicing for the past 10 years or so, I still notice moments of time where my body just goes and I perform the asanas.  Sometimes I even perform them very well and I’ve gotten really good at multitasking, thinking about other things besides being in the moment where I am.   The mind will do it’s own thing when left alone.  This is true.

We see this in asana.  Nancy saw us lifting our hands when we jump back/thru.  Our minds are eager to perform but she encouraged us to not do so.   There is no short cut to transformation.  One must do the work and feel every step of the way.  This may mean work on keeping your palms flat on the ground and do the work to really lift up before the jump.  It may not look as graceful but the illusion of looking graceful or the illusion of a successful jump thru/back does look graceful and successful but it does not help propel you into lasting transformation.

Mostly this shows up when I’m gone for weekend retreats and leave my family at home.   Mostly I feel guilty for indulging in myself.  My body loves the practice but my mind is left at home… worrying about my classes, about the kids, etc.

I’m so glad Dena, asked this question on the first day because it allowed me to just let go and fulfill the intention of why I came:  to be a student, to let go of all my responsibilities back home and to just indulge.   No guilt!  I’m being present.  My body is at the confluence and so will my mind because after this weekend away as a student, I will go back home a better teacher, a better mom, a better spouse, a better friend, a better human being… and the process continues as I integrate back into my life where the real work begins.  Then every few more months, I will do it again.  I will pry myself away from my studio, away from my students, away from my friends, and away from my family in order to reflect on who I was being and then reconnect to myself to redefine who I am and who I will become.

4 thoughts on “Ashtanga Confluence 2013: Day 1, Feeling the Transformation

  1. Hi Nikki. I’ve used the panel picture from this post on my own blog post for the videos
    (I found it via a google image search)
    I wasn’t sure if you’d taken the picture yourself so wanted to double check it was OK to use it (have added a link back here). If You’d rather I didn’t let me know and I’ll take it out.
    Thanks for sharing your AYC notes here, enjoying reading them.

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