Everywhere online, with a few exceptions, but not many, you'll see "Teacher X has studied with people A, B, Q, T, and Y." That's just how it is done; that's how you describe yourself.
Check out the "no need for names" sometimes on Justin Barnes' bio (you can find him either here or also, until March, here). That's a different way of doing it.
This isn't about whether or not I think it's cool to list the workshops one has been to, the teachers with which one has been associated or shared a room. I am thinking about workshops, because there are many coming around, and yet, I don't think I'll attend. Sure, largely that's because of money, but it also is not, and it's the "also is not" that's interesting.
Tim Miller is coming here for a Primary and pranayama and adjustments week in April. Lino Miele is doing a near-week of Mysore-style over here in April.
Of course, you know that Pattabhi Jois is coming to Florida for, what is it, two weeks of classes, in March? But that's the week after Spring Break, and I'd need to find subs, find money, find lodging.
As you know if you read me a lot, Matthew Sweeney is coming to Minneapolis for a week of workshops including an Intermediate Series class, Mysore-style and Primary-adjustments in July, and I'm going, as of now, to the Mysore-style and adjustments sessions, and am seeing how soon money will allow me to hit the Intermediate class (at least).
So why not hit all of these; why not go, while I'm at it, to one of Tim's big week-long training intensives? Why not train up and get the exposure to senior teachers?
To be honest, I'm not drawn all the way to a handful of Mysore-style classes in a city where my practice isn't familiar to anyone. That's one. I'm also not desperately drawn to a weekend workshop on Primary--this may sound pretentious, but I can teach myself quite a bit about Primary, and as Tim Miller once said, the practice is the best teacher. Sure, I'd like to have someone have a look at my twists and tell me how to figure out the hip. But for hours of travel and a couple hundred bucks? Why not just roll out the mat, six feet from this computer, and have at it?
Intermediate, however, is a different matter. Or a backbending workshop, that's a a different matter. I'm interested in those; really really interested. Or a week chock-full of different topics. That raises my eyebrows. You might be thinking, "Dude, Lino is one of the senior, SENIOR teachers, come on now" or you might be thinking, "Dude, Tim Miller is not to be missed." Yes, yes on both counts, no disparagement is intended or should be inferred. But my tendency is to get a WEEK of Tim on Primary sometime. 200 for a weekend, or 1700 for a week intensive? Hmm. Yes, I'm certain that Lino would give me some advice, adjustment or something else that would be priceless. But in a full room where I'm the stranger? Should I spend the driving time, the cash per class, and the need to find subs for my school classes down here, on the CHANCE that in a full room I'd get that "magic moment"? Do I NEED that "magic moment" that much?
One of the main attractions for Sweeney's Mysore-style classes in July is that he's teaching a room of 12 people, really doing it old school.
I don't doubt that I'm missing out. But I don't want to leap at the nearest workshop just because it's THERE either. I have inherited a certain austerity, almost a standoffishness, from all of this home practice.
Recently I had to write a bio for a change of studio ownership, and I didn't mention any workshops other than my teacher training. For the record, here's my workshop and teacher-training history:
200 hours with Larry Schultz and company.
Fairly regular attendance, for a month, at Clayton's Mysore-style room.
Weekends with Doug Swenson (twice), Rolf Gates. A 3-hour class with Seane Corn. A 3-hour class with Desiree Rumbaugh. A weekend with David Swenson.
That's my "famous names" history, all of it.
A lot, and I mean a LOT, of led Primaries with Wendy and Carol. First Ashtanga class ever, and a few in Primary and also modified Intermediate, with Debby.
And the rest of it is home practice, with a pack of vinyasa classes sampled, including one I hit each week on Tuesday nights here and an Intro to Intermediate three times a month (but even there, I Mysore-style it).