I wish I had more time to write about this and the followup launch of a thing that we are calling "Ashtanga Yoga Indiana" (more soon, but if you're Facebooking, look for us there), BUT this is the day when my grades are due so I have to do that first (well, second, after this "brief" post, right?).
Kino did really only 2 days here, three workshops total:
a. Led Primary, Sat morning; we did up to Supta K.
b. Arm balances for everyone (lots of Bakasana, partner work, some Sirsasana)
c. Karmic Fire, Sun morning; LOTS of yoga philosophy, pelvic floor, breath.
The Karmic Fire workshop, which I think is her newest, is really fantastic. We talked about samskaras, kleshas, burning with agni, and technically we talked about tapas even though she didn't say that word out loud. Basically, using the body as a sort of (what Freeman would call) matrix for intersecting with the spiritual/mystical. It was really pose light (well, except for the Navasana example) but just fantastic all the same.
In the led Primary, and I think in part because Kino still recognizes me from Chicago workshops, I got adjustments in Pada Hastasana, Prasarita Padottanasana C (in which I actually fell over my head--hilarious! Kino said, "We're doing judo here in the corner") and Supta Kurmasana. Easy Dwi Pada pretzeling with her help.
For backbends we did an ankle-grab bridge, and then two wheels, coming all the way down, then a set of three, coming only down to top of head, and then her infamous "walk hands in and push up" Chakrabandhasana builder. Awesome.
Every senior teacher does backbends differently. Timiji has us simply do two sets of three. Kino really likes to "ladder them" this way, bridge, wheel come down, wheel stay up, wheel walk in.
She asked me to play photographer for the "arm balances" section, so there might be a lot of fun pictures of people falling out of partner-assisted Eka Pada Bakasana and so on, when those show up :)
Now, my regular Sunday class is at 12:30, and the Karmic Fire session ended at 12, and Kino and the studio and I had talked about her doing a practice in my class. She and I talked about this on Saturday between sessions and I said that really, it's not led, a large portion of my class just takes a cheat sheet and marches through Primary as well as they're able. Kino got much more enthusiastic at that point and said, like Mysore-style? and I told her the class is sort of a wild and crazy mix of led and Mysore-style, and she said, that's how you build a program! Awesome.
So at 12:15 when the KF session had gotten out, about 9 of us, Kino included, just started practicing and three more students came in at 12:30 and I basically let everyone do the class Mysore-style, with lots of attention for the trio whom I knew hadn't had as much experience with that method. The space was really traditional-feeling, I don't know how else to put it. It's rare that I can get that vibe when I'm teaching, most days. There was less joking, and I was speaking more softly to one student at a time, not trying to direct the room, a totally different voice usage from a led class. Lots of UHP adjustments (the "foot cup"), lots of Prasarita C, lots of advice about jumping (Kino had advised people to walk back and through until it became smooth, but everyone loves to jump, and so that's going to be a massive retraining for certain members of my class).
Kino did a lovely Intermediate, as far as I saw only struggling with the Karanda lift, and then in backbends went handstand-feet-to-head, which was cool because I've NEVER seen a practitioner do that in real life. I think maybe I saw Kino adjust a couple people into it in Chicago, but I was in mid-practice so I can't be sure what my senses registered :D
We talked for about 30-40 minutes while another class ended on Saturday afternoon, and I think that if you're an authorized/certified teacher, it's probably refreshing to talk about ANYTHING that isn't "ooh how do I get into this pose?" We talked about creativity, orderly people versus messy people, the Midwest as the "new Encinitas," and a handful of other things. No posing, no transitions, no shop talk. Good stuff. Kino suggested that there be a thing, "Ashtanga Yoga Indiana," to build our new community, these mysterious classes of 12 or more that I've had for three solid months now.
So I started a Facebook group and wrote something of a Declaration of Vision, and people are excited about it. Turns out one of my students is a web design guy. Fortuitous things are coming about. There are apparently 25 different classes a week in this state which call themselves "ashtanga" (and sure, some are modified or based-on or inspired-by) but we now have the beginnings of a network which reaches from Bloomington down southwest to Indy and up even to Crown Point, which is practically Chicago. Time to get on the road and see some classes, get some human flesh-and-blood relating going on.
Ok, off to grade!