Who knew??!?!?! Yoga was supposed to be my comfort spot, my familiar terrain, my home base. But, I got rocked on Thursday. Completely stripped down and removed from my comfort zone all over again. I found a studio just down the road – Ser Om Shanti. It’s a nice spot – small, with a tile floor, light and bright with windows. The studio offers about three classes a day – ranging from hatha, to vinyasa to restorative. I went to the vinyasa class on tues this week at 9:30 after surfing. There were probably 8 people in the class. It was taught by Mariel who was very good, but I was one of 8 and the class moved at a fast, familiar pace.
Yesterday, Thursday, I went back for the same class. I was the only person who showed up for the class and Mariel was ready and willing to teach a 75 minute private. She started with breaking down my breathing and continued on to re-aligning almost every posture and every vinyasa that I have practiced for years. I learned more in that 75 minutes than I have learned at any single class I have ever taken. I was humbled, once again, beyond words.
Granted, we practiced some advanced postures and complex flows, but in the end, it was my Tadasana, (mountain pose) that needed the most help. This is not a surprise to me, but I thought, or at least hoped, that I had moved past this point. My breathing was a mess too – and this is after my teacher training and pranayama classes at Yoga Journal Conference. The truth is, big vinyasa classes are amazing, fun, and empowering, but you can easily “skate by” if you are not careful. 75 minutes of micro adjustments during Thursdays class made Tadasana feel like the hardest pose I have ever experienced. So cool and such a great reminder of how very little I know and how far I need to go in my own yoga practice.
After class I asked Mariel about her background and training and suffice to say, it is extensive. Her specialty is yoga therapy – Kate, I thought about you! She has spent thousands of hours traveling and training around the globe. One of her specialties is anatomy, physiology, alignment and injuries. I’m going to continue to attend her classes and hope for an equal mix of anonymity and attention. Sometimes, (right now), you just want to “skate by.” But, I never thought I would have such a wealth of information right down the road. She is an incredible teacher and I hope to improve my practice so I can improve my own teaching when I return. Om Shanti Shanti.