Friday, December 08, 2006

Flowing into Grace - Anusara Workshop 25/26 November

11 hours of yoga over 2 days – AMAZING! John Friend, the founder of Anusara Yoga, came to Australia from Texas last weekend for some workshops which, being the proudly self-professed Yoga Nerd that I am, I had applied for months earlier. And it was so worth it! This was my first experience of a big yoga event like that – there were over 100 yogis of ALL shapes and sizes and ages gathered in the space, and the mats were centimeters apart… the heat built up in the room, the smiles were broad, and you could just feel the encouragement. To be honest, John Friend IS Anusara Yoga. His complete enthusiasm and descriptions and excitement about yoga really explain his vibe of ‘yoga from the inside out’. His “inner body bright” catch-cry and his “no worries” command when we first got into a pose really set the scene for the best weekend I’ve had in a long time. Gosh, how do you sum up 11 hours of the most fantastic yoga into just a few paragraphs? Well, it’s hard. But every pose, every breath, was an effort and an advancement on my practice. Crazy – in a good way! And with his energetic assistants keeping their eyes and hands on us at all times... there was no chance to slacken off! Uttanasana (standing forward bend) was the fave pose of the weekend I think – John loved it! And it really improved over the weekend – I was a lot more flexible than I’d been for a while. Best pose? Ardha Chandrasana – for sure. And not just regular half moon pose, but half moon pose with the top leg bent and the top hand holding onto the leg… so Danurasana legs with ardha chandrasana lower body. All in balance! One other theme of the weekend was to pull it all inwards – so the first step was ‘no worries’, the 2nd was inner body bright, then it was about all pulling it inwards. It is all about the core – and finding balance. And it works! These little tricks of explaining poses and your body in new ways makes all the difference. Even John’s explanation about making your practice about grace and gratitude swept all of us up – writing it here in my own words won’t even do his stunning commentary justice, suffice it to say we were all bursting with happiness at the end of the weekend… exactly what is meant to happen to those who practice Anusara Yoga. Ps – He signed my Yoga Journal mag. I’m a Friend-head!!! Pps - If you're interested in finding out some more about Anusara Yoga, take a look at some of these articles - Talking Shop with John Friend, Emotions during Yoga, and Bouncing into Graceland. Enjoy!

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