The body learns on the long road home

“The body learns by doing…”

After the 8th or so time of instructing us to take Parivritta (revolved) Janu Sirsasana, these were Tony’s words during tonight’s Wednesday class,

“The body learns by doing.”

This is a class that I’ve signed on to take every week for the next six months. First as a student, and later as an observer and assistant. And a truly challenging class it is! Not in the sense you might think, no flowing and profuse sweating here.

Just for a taste, try doing Baddha Konasana with your back against the wall, keeping the natural curve in your lumbar spine and nestling your rear into the place where the wall meets the floor. Place a block on top of your head against the wall, place your palms flat against the wall, with pinkys on either side of the block. Now, if that’s not enough, begin to raise the block away from your head while keeping it in contact with the wall and keeping your pinky finger sides of your hands pressing into the wall and block….

Another one of this evening’s quotes from Tony:

“Everyone says ‘yoga is union,’ but what does that mean if you can’t even bring your sacrum and your face together!”

I’ll have to explain this one to you in person.

The long road home…

Tonight’s class, and the training workshops of the past two weekends, have given me a healthy and exciting reminder of the long road that is yoga. Perhaps it’s a road without a destination, truly teaching that it’s the path and not the destination that offers satisfaction. Although I’ve been studying and practicing for almost ten years now, including daily practice for the past year or more, I am just a beginner in the first few steps of the path. And I mean this both in the sense of how long it takes the body to learn and unlearn habits, and also in all the nuances of doing and teaching the poses.

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