August 9, 2013

Morning Asana at The Yoga Alliance Business of Yoga Conference.

Do what you love, per Faith Hunter

I went to bed super early for me, before 10 and woke before the sun came up. Today, I planned to take Faith Hunter’s 6:30 a.m. asana class at the Capitol Hilton where the conference is being held. My husband drove me to the metro. I made it to Starbuck’s and spotted a fellow yogi getting off where I did with a mat over her shoulder.

I walk up K. Street to the hotel and make my way up the stairs to see a familiar friendly face: Sarah Fishman who helped organize the conference who also teaches at Olney Yoga Loft, where I teach.

When I make it to the room for asana, I spot Faith right away. It’s easy because yoga classes, more often than not, have more Caucasians than African Americans, just as there are always more women than men. Faith is African American, wearing comfortable yoga clothes with a shirt from her studio here in Adams Morgan, Embrace. I introduce myself. I only know Faith from online classes on My Yoga Online, but like what I experienced there.

And the class does not disappoint me at all. I know she studied at Laughing Lotus, a studio I fell in love with online at the same aforementioned website. Dana Trixie Flynn is an amazing teacher and Faith acknowledges her during class, as being a bit, well, inspired…meaning Dana likes to have crazy fun in class.

And so does Faith. Her first love was Kundalini and we begin with an active pranayama exercise that wakes us all and prepares us for the practice. She set the tone before we started moving with Mantra. She covered all the bases.

Then she puts on Reggae and we move.

Now, I have been practicing since 1997. I don’t have an amazing practice, few party tricks, but I know what I like and what I don’t like. And I don’t do what I don’t like.

There was nothing I did not like about this practice. Did I do everything exactly as she told us to do it, each asana? No. But I also felt the comfort and ease of knowing she’d want me to listen to my body more than her words.

We do what love. We came here to learn and grow. This is what Faith shares and this is what inspires her teaching and therefore her students.

The asana was fun, flowing, with breath awareness….and enough of a challenge to heat the body but not so much to actually burn the muscles. For 6:30 a.m. I can say I almost could have skipped my morning coffee. And if you know me, that’s saying a lot.

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Editor: Sara Crolick

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