23 January 2010


I just came from a wonderful yoga mini-retreat - just two and a half hours, but very thought provoking (and hard work!), part of a bigger weekend workshop. And all I had to do was go a few blocks from my house and join in. It was an Anusara workshop organized by South Mountain Yoga & facilitated by Ross Rayburn. And it's happening again tomorrow afternoon - there is still some room if you're local & interested! (Maybe you can score a new Ganesh tshirt too)

The thought behind the day was the trinity (he used a fancier word, which I've already forgotten)...he used, in part, the backdrop of Sachindananda, which is part of the Anusara invocation (above).
Sachidananda is a combination of three words:
Sat = existence, truth, real.
Chit = consciousness
Ananda = bliss.
He suggested that in yoga we must first surrender, then reign it in and consider the boundaries before we can once again and more fully surrender. We spent time in each posture playing with the idea that you can't really fly or surrender or get to the bliss with out finding the tension and working with it, fine-tuning it, moving beyond it to a place you wouldn't have gotten to without first acknowledging it. So often we just go to the fullest expression of something, because we can, out of habit or because it's easier than really engaging...like in Uttanasana (standing forward bend) if we make touching the floor the main goal, and flop down there without making sure that our shoulders are engaged, pulling back even as we reach forward.

Like many things, this got me thinking about, what else?, birth. How many times have I told someone in labor to "just surrender" - JUST! Maybe I need to be mindful of the negotiation that must take place between the tension & surrender, allowing a woman to be contained by her body, feeling safe, before surrendering a little and then contained again, and then a deeper surrender. Like when a baby is being born and he turtles back and forth until ready to emerge under the pubic bone and out. Like when it's kinder to a mother's body if she can stay in the place of tension as she stretches, even as she wants to maybe blast out that baby, but allows herself to negotiate the passage, tempering the holding with releasing.

Balance requires choice and mindfulness, but then we get to melt more fully.

1 comment:

Rita Desnoyers-Garcia said...

Wow! Sounds like you really got a lot out of that yoga retreat! Good for you. And yes, surrendering can feel daunting at times and it is useful to acknowledge the tension and resistance and it's purpose.
Thanks for the post!