Ashtanga Yogi Community

General Category => Workshop Feedback => Topic started by: E on March 01, 2005, 11:18:38 PM

Title: West Hartford, Connecticut workshop, 2005
Post by: E on March 01, 2005, 11:18:38 PM
Good Morning,

Your workshop was so inspiring that I took today off from my insurance job to work on my calendar and figure out how I can work in the Ashtanga program so that I can do it daily.  This is not going to be an easy task for me, but I will give it my best shot.  Your history and stories on how you were inspired to do the practice were very uplifting and gave hope in my heart that "yes it's possible, even at age 55".  Just go slow, don't burden myself over it and especially don't feel any pain. 
Since I started Inyengar Yoga three years ago, I always pursued my practice with the intent of becoming a teacher and studio owner.  Listening to you, I realized, "I'm all wet!".  My intentions are wrong!  I should be just striving to perfect my practice and when teaching is ready for me, it will happen.
I did want to mention to you one more thing.  You must get really sick of the "one more thing" comments.  You hear it so often.  You told  me about how someone was trying to get you to publish your own book, but you weren't sure if you would have the time.  In my opinion, watching you speak, please try to publish a DVD first of your workshops or as an entry to your workshops.  You could sell them wherever you go and on your website.  I know I would have bought one.  The DVD would allow your audience a picture into your enthusiasm which is so powerful and uplifting.  Just my 2 cents worth.
Hope you have a great time in Florida and get back to Maui with your loved ones soon.
Title: Re: West Hartford, Connecticut workshop, 2005
Post by: pete on March 01, 2005, 11:32:54 PM
Thank you for an enjoyable four days. I am 56 and have been learning ashtanga yoga for about a year and a half. Your insight about making it enjoyable is certainly on the mark. I walked away with several gems: more focus on bandas, exhaling to breathe deeply, balance, spinal alignment, and never hurting myself or letting somebody else do it. Do not change the name of your workshop. "Ashtanga for Life" is a message for me and everyone. I really plan to be doing ashtanga yoga at 70, 80, 90.....

Title: Re: West Hartford, Connecticut workshop, 2005
Post by: Emily on March 09, 2005, 07:51:37 AM
Hi David!
I just want you to know how very much I enjoyed the Ashtanga For Life workshops in West Hartford, CT.  Your enthusiasm, simple precepts and down to earth style were inspirational. I especially liked your clear explanation of how mulabandha works, and your emphasis on "yoga should feel good and be fun".
I started practicing yoga 34 years ago and I wish I knew about Ashtanga then. I'm the person who asked you about coming to Willmington, N.C. I hope that happens after I move there this summer. Many thanks for a wonderful weekend of Ashtanga
Yoga.  You've given this 63 old renewed confidence and determination to keep
 moving and breathing with yoga for the rest of her life.
Title: Re: West Hartford, Connecticut workshop, 2005
Post by: Jennifer on March 09, 2005, 08:20:05 AM
Thank you so much for coming to do a workshop in West Hartford--in the dead of winter, no less!  I love the title of your workshop and wouldn't suggest you change it, but I'm going to remember it as "Liberation Yoga."
Like you, I started practicing yoga in the 70s, inspired by Richard Hittelman's book and Autobiography of a Yogi.  [Also like you, I'm a Southerner...from the other Carolina :-).]  Unlike you, I didn't pursue my interest, and it wasn't until  about 8 or 9 years ago that I found my way back to yoga and started going to classes.  Since then, I've been lucky to have some great teachers and to practice with some terrific people, including a woman who began practicing yoga when she was 75!  Every time I stood on my mat next to her, I felt humbled by her commitment to her practice and hopeful that I could still be practicing when I'm her age (should I be lucky enough to make it that far!).
In the last couple of years, my interest in going to classes started to wane and I started practicing more on my own.  I also started getting interested in ashtanga and worked one-on-one with a good friend who taught me the primary series.  Even though I've been focusing on leaving ego behind when I step on my mat, I still felt like I wasn't being tough enough on myself when I practiced alone.  Occasionally, I'd skip poses that didn't feel good or I'd shorten the practice.  Your workshop helped me appreciate that solo practice is worthy practice, that it's okay to adapt the practice when I need to, and that it's definitely okay not to practice a pose if it hurts.  It also renewed my commitment to greater focus on prana and less focus on ego-centered thoughts.  That's why I say it was a "Liberation Yoga" workshop!
Again, thank you so much for coming to Connecticut and for sharing your enthusiasm, your good sense, your humor, and your insights.  And thanks for liberating my practice!
P.S.  I also really appreciated the depth of your understanding of contemplative practices within and outside of yoga and was glad you made that part of the workshop.

Title: Re: West Hartford, Connecticut workshop, 2005
Post by: Jeff on March 17, 2005, 12:21:13 PM

I really found the workshop to be exhilarating. I think I enjoyed the
talking as much or more than the practicing, especially the first and
second session. For me, it reinforced the manner that I treat my practice
and the way I share it when I conduct class. It's way too easy to make
a yoga practice "hard" and full of many ashtanga (and
power) teachers seem to feel that the harder they make classes the better.
Personally, I think that's a load of crap.
I'm moving my focus toward encouraging moola bandha, rather than
drawing the belly in, as I have in the past. Bandhas are the component of
ashtanga that are most often neglected and often completely ignored.
Perhaps as they seem somewhat know, energy locks? That doesn't translate to most people starting off in their practice.  My take is to make it as practical as I can.  I think you helped me with that.

Be well,