October 1, 2009

The Day Dharma Mittra Kicked My (Yoga) Butt. ~ via Sandja Brügmann.

Today has been 6.5 hours of incredible yoga from some of the world’s leading yoga teachers including Rusty Wells, Dharma Mittra and Seane Corne.

My yoga day began at 8 am with Rusty. As I enter the class a super cute big smile blond fit girl greets me. I recognize her from the day prior, when I was working by the fireplace. She is Rusty’s assistant. As it is my first time attending Rusty’s class, I had not recognized the two of them the day prior, when we had a funny interaction about me evesdropping when Rusty gave his digits to a friend. Darn, those digits could have been worth $… We laugh at the silliness, however, truth be told, Rusty is one cute yogi, so I am just slightly bummed that I didn’t take notes. As he begins class by call-response Kirtan chanting standing clad only in a pair of micro shorts and a mala, I find it slightly challenging not to smile. All thru class Rusty is smiling, craking jokes all the while leading a rather challenging, energetically and spiritually deep class. I thought it said beginner on the program description? I had planned for an easy morning before my class with Dharma Mittra. Dare I expose that a fleeting thought of cancelling that class after getting totally worked by Rusty did appear in my mind, though just fleetingly…

I had heard that Dharma Mittra is a version of Yoda, soft spoken, giggly yet tough, and that description fit absolutely perfectly. I got my yogabutt kicked and back and shoulders peeled open like never before. As it is with our yoga practice, when we encounter this deep sense of pain and discomfort, where we feel like running away from the mat, we need to breathe deeper, and let’s just say that everything I possibly had in my body and mind were mustered up to stay thru Dharma Mittra’s class. My mind had all sorts of excuses to leave class early as Dharma Mittra exclaims “no pain, no gain”: I really needed to write an article for Elephant Journal so that Waylon wouldn’t get on my case. I really needed to be at the Green Yoga booth to help out. I really needed to call my daughter, who had been missing me through the days I had been at the Yoga Conference. Ohh…yes, my mind had a lot of really neat excuses, but I conquered my need to run, and was able to breathe through the asanas and found my heart, back and shoulders more open than ever before.

It feels good to spend the afternoon assisting the Green Yoga Organization informing people to lessen the use of plastic bottles (eliminating 8000 plastic bottles at this year’s conference) by using our stainless steel bottles, and the freely provided purified water donated by Green Yoga at the Yoga Journal Estes Park conference for all conference attendees – go support these guys, they are doing amazing stuff!

Last 2 hours of my yoga marathon day was with Seane Corn – Anahata Flow: Love, Compassion and Forgiveness. I didn’t even know the class description until this exact second looking at the program. How interesting! I will take that as a sign… As my entire body was opened up from a day filled with hip and shoulder openers, and my entire body was rather drained, I felt myself surrendering to the postures more easily, as I didn’t have the muscle endurance to ‘fight back,’ and the lessons from Scott Blossom’s class earlier in the week regarding organic intelligence and letting yoga do us, and not the other way seemed to appear at the right time, and I surrendered into a fanastic yoga practice yet again.

I will write more in-depth articles on Seane Corn’s fantastic non-profit initiative with Lucy – Off The Mat, Into The World® but I wanted to quickly share with you that for the remainder of September, when you purchase the Lucy Hatha yoga pant and Lucy will donate $5.00 to Seane’s cause.  So hurry, get a pair of these fabulous yoga pants – awesome fit, I got a pair myself, and they are both practical and hot – befitting any yogini with respect for herself.

As the weekend is nearing, more people are appearing at the conference, and the atmosphere on campus is a mix of excitement, compassion, community and feeling enormously blessed as we are all ready for two more days of opening ourselves up to life and love.

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