+++A Letter from Jason at Portland Ashtanga Yoga+++
Totally off-topic, but I found this shot of Rowan doing uth pluthi (with props!) at age 5. Man, she's great.
Our friend Patanjali compiled a host of observations about our consciousness, and how our perspective and attitudes can influence our experiences.
One of his more useful maps, listed in the first book, regards obstructions or impediments to practice. It's usually around February that I begin to feel the first two most acutely: vyadhi and styana, illness and stuck-ness, or inertia.
Touch wood I've been mostly healthy this winter, despite driving carpool for a gaggle of 11-year-old girls, and my 3-year-old repeatedly coughing right in my mouth.
However, during Saturday practice I had terrific difficulty just raising my arms over my head. "Bleh!" I thought.
Usually, I bargain: "C'mon — just floss one tooth!" I tell myself. I agree to breathe and lift my hands over my head just one time, and then see what happens. Typically, sun salutations ensue, followed by a longer practice.
However, on Saturday I made it about 20 minutes before giving up the ghost. It was "bleh!" all the way through.
Still, I got up from rest and felt phenomenal — clear, lucid, and steady.
It always surprises me just how little is required. At first, always more than I want to do, but on completion much less than I thought.
Patanjali's map of obstructions are helpful, too, in that naming an experience by default means I am no longer identified with it. "Oh, styana!" The Jason that sees the inertia is no longer entwined with the inertia.
So on those difficult mornings, when it's dark, wet and cold, just tell yourself to come in and floss one tooth. You don't have to do it alone.
+++Jessica Walden: Bandha Workshop on Saturday!+++
This is not to be missed! Jessica is a phenomenal teacher, practitioner, mom, and career woman. She'll be here teaching a session on the Bandhas: what they are, how to find them, and why. There will be discussion, practice and conversation.
If you're newer to the practice, it's a great way to drill down on deeper aspects of the Ashtanga practice, and perhaps experience poses outside your daily sequence. For all you rounding the corner on your "beginner" stage of practice, when novelty workshops have lost their luster, this will also be a fascinating and helpful chance to learn how long-time practitioners like Jess manage family, work, teaching, and practice.
Read more about the event here, and join us this weekend — we'll be at Yoga on Yamhill from 9–noon this Saturday — enroll now to reserve your spot!
+++First Series Immersion: Enroll Now!+++
There are still spaces available in my First Series Seminar, runningMarch 2–6. We'll take apart the sequence, put it together, and appreciate how it flows. Also included: philosophy, anatomy, mythology and more. No practice too big or small to attend. This will be a must for aspiring teachers or just those curious about the practice in general. There's more info on the page, and you can enroll here.
+++We Got a Bigger Room+++
I'm sorry, but you all have pretty much filled up the Mysore room. So we got a bigger one. It is upstairs in the same building — just on the third floor. They are finishing the floors and installing the heat now, and I hope to be in there on or before February 15. I will send out an email when I have a firm date. Meanwhile, if you show up and the room is locked, go upstairs to the third floor.
+++Last Friday Led Primary+++
One class only: February 26. 6–7:30 a.m.
+++February Moon Days+++
Monday, February 8
Monday, February 22
Jason owns and directs Portland Ashtanga Yoga.