I wish I could share some yoga philosophy with you. However, I'm mostly excited because this is the first holiday season that my 9-year-old daughter has, on her own initiative and with no coercion on the part of her parents, assembled a Christmas list FOR OTHER PEOPLE.
Rowan has literally grown up on a yoga mat at yoga studios around the world. At age 9 she has marginal interest in practicing it, though I really admire her attitude: to her, yoga is no big deal --- it's not profound or mundane, it's just what people do.
This can be a hard attitude to embrace, and is one of the challenges of practicing in a Mysore space, because people of all physical capabilities and life histories work side-by-side.
There may be people next to you who, out of the corner of your eye, display a floaty and rubbery flexibility. Who wouldn't want to move so languidly and effortlessly? Who wouldn't want to perform asanas in such a profound and epic way?
It's easy to step onto a treadmill of posture acquisition and perfection in pursuit of an ever-receding horizon.
I am thankful and grateful to have had teachers who've seen people insert their heads in their asses (often forcibly) enough times that postural pyrotechnics are no big deal --- both Guruji (Pattabhi Joise) and Tim Miller were/are masters of the non-plussed grunt.
I now also have literally have a broader perspective of a Mysore room, enough that I can see that people struggle no matter their degree of physical mastery.
What I'm trying to say is we should all practice like 9-year-old girls. This will mean trying to expand that sense of moment-to-moment connection you feel when walking out of the studio.
It will also mean exploring the subtle pop nuances of teen heart-throbs One Direction.
Happy holidays, much love and namaste,
---> ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP SALE!
The annual membership sale will be held between December 20 and January 5. Unlimited class attendance is yours for $1,299. This offer is valid for cash, check, or Twitter stock options.
---> INTRO TO MYSORE INTENSIVE: 30% GIFT DISCOUNT FOR MEMBERS
In my opinion, to learn Ashtanga yoga in the Mysore style is the best way to develop a personal yoga practice.
The postures, pace and instruction are tailored directly to each person. At the same time, we all learn and practice a standard, "unchanging" sequence of postures that feature firm expectations and standards.
It's this structure that allows a Mysore practice to become more than stretching, or physical therapy, or even stress relief. Occasionally it touches the realms of ritual and meditation.
Previously, in order to communicate my understanding, experience and belief in the power of a Mysore practice, I offered a 4-class Beginner's Pass.
Starting January 2014, I will no longer offer the Beginner's Pass. Instead, in order to more greatly cultivate discipline as well as a sense of duration and assiduousness, I will be offering a monthly Intro to Mysore Intensive.
The Intensive will be a three-week-long commitment to learning Ashtanga, and it will consist of three morning classes per week.
The inaugural intensive will take place during the first three weeks of January on Monday-Wednesday-Friday from 6:30-7:30 a.m., and will be held in a corner of the big studio during Mysore class.
I will teach the first intensive, and during the hour I am teaching (6:30-7:30 a.m.), John H. will tend the Mysore room. Practice will still begin at 6 and go 'til 9. I will teach 6-6:30 a.m. and 7:30-9 a.m.
Basically, the Intro Intensive will let me centralize a small group of beginners in one place and one time. It will also encourage commitment and cultivate discipline.
Group size is intentionally very, very small --- there are only five spots.
If you would like to introduce family, friends, loved ones, or arch-nemeses (if you've lived well, hopefully you have more than one) to the Ashtanga practice, you'll receive a 30% discount when you purchase a spot in the intensive.
Intro to Mysore Intensive
Practice 3 days per week for 3 weeks
Class size capped at 5
Times: 6:30-7:30 a.m.
Dates: January 6-January 24
Details and purchase LINK: http://bit.ly/1iqiZ2x
To receive the discount, enter the promo code: SORENESS&LIGHT
--->DAVID WILLIAMS VISITS PORTLAND IN APRIL 2014
Mark your calendars: long-time Ashtanga teacher David Williams will be visiting Yoga on Yamhill for a weekend workshop April 3-6.
David has practiced Ashtanga since 1973, when he began learning this system from Pattabhi Jois at his home in Mysore, India. He was the first non-Indian to be taught the complete Ashtanga Yoga system of asanas and pranayama directly from Jois. David also introduced Ashtanga to the West when he brought Jois to the U.S. for the first time in 1975.
More info and enrollment at Yoga on Yamhill LINK: http://bit.ly/1gyJjTL
NOTE: David is being hosted by Yoga on Yamhill, so I'm not organizing or accepting payment for his workshop. Please visit the link to sign up!
--->TIM'S INDIA TRIP
Fellow Portland Ashtanga Yoga practitioner Tim Wildgoose is set to visit India for the first time. He's started a Kickstarter to fund a video and photography project of his journey. The theme is 'connection.' If you feel inspired by it, Tim would be honored by your contribution.
I could not resist. I have been writing about yoga again, mostly as a way to further my own thinking about issues raised during conversation with everyone at Portland Ashtanga Yoga. It's also a way to write lengthier responses to common questions I get! Enjoy; you can subscribe via RSS feed, too. There will be at least one new post per week!
---> HOLIDAY HOURS
Christmas Eve: 7-9 a.m. only
Christmas Day: CLOSED
New Year's Eve: 7-9 a.m. only
New Year's Day: 7-9 a.m. only
Jason owns and directs Portland Ashtanga Yoga.