[Photo by Lauren Nelson] One of the trademark poses in yoga…
This past week has been very exciting. I’ve met Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor in person, which is quite exciting after having known them only through online videos. They are a truly amazing pair of yogis: caring, humble and knowledgable.
I started off the week on the wrong foot, literally! I sprained my ankle right before my trip to the US and was quite distraught at the idea of not being able to practice during the week-long immersion. Luckily, Richard and Mary teach a very sustainable approach to yoga. Mary was attentive to my needs and stressed the importance of maintaining continuity in one’s yoga practice while being careful not to re-injure the body. I learned to use different props and to adapt my practice to my situation. It was very empowering.
Richard is truly an exceptional teacher. It is rare to meet someone who understands the intricacies of eastern philosophy and relates them with humor and ease. You can sense that he speaks from experience when he describes the various stages of yoga as well as the more subtle aspects of the practice. His particular style of leading the asana class has helped me find a spaciousness in my body that feels like I’ve had Rolfing. I am also more aware of how much I regularly practiceholding lots of tension, straining my breath and pushing my body.
Throughout the course of this week, a lot of scattered bits of information that I’ve gathered here and there have begun to fall into place. A lot of questions have found their answers, for example: why do we practice? How should one approach the practice? How does one measure their progress? I’ve been given some solid guidance.