It's 2.55pm on Sunday afternoon, and I'm sitting in an audio studio at work. Last night we finished at midnight. I'm not gonna whine about it. Instead, I figured while I've got some down time when the client and creative team figure out this audio mix now, I'm gonna get some "me" time and bang out a post. :)
I've been thinking about yoga workshops. As in: taking yoga workshops. As in: to take or not to take. There are different schools of thought for or against it... and I've always been all for them coz it's a chance to step out of the regular format of a class and break down the physicality/ dynamics/ techniques of the poses or learn more about the philosophy of the lineage.
This morning, I went for KM's workshop. Well, not quite a workshop, more like a Mysore-style class. (She's one of the rockstar ashtanga teachers... Go on, think a little harder and you'll get it). She's been giving workshops the whole of this weekend in London, but by the time I decided to stay on this weekend coz of work, the Mysore class was pretty much the only opening available. So... Granted, my one little class this morning is probably not a good indication of the rest of the workshops she's giving here (like a real proper "breaking it down" workshop). (For those, go check out Kevin, Mel, Helen, Susan or Ashtanga Brighton's blogs - they've been going to some of her other sessions so you may get a report from them soon!)
ANYWAY... I was a little hesitant to go this morning coz a part of me was thinking that in the past few weeks, I've had so many teachers keeping an eye on me - P for the first week, J when P went away, and A on Sunday at AYL... and now yet ANOTHER teacher this morning? The thing is, especially with a Mysore-style practice, you get a lot more out of it when it's the same person looking out for you. Your day-to-day teacher knows your practice, knows YOU, knows what you're struggling with, knows the odd quirks about your body and how to help you out.
In a workshop format, it probably helps if you go to the entire series of workshops that particular teacher is giving for the same reason: over a few sessions, the teacher gets to see you practice and is more familiar with what you or your body requires.
So... to be honest, my ONE little measly Mysore class today probably isn't that great an indication of my experience of that teacher.
Umm... Can you tell you I'm feeling a little bit "meh" about it today?
It also probably didn't help that I was clock-watching, coz I had to be back at work at 10am this morning.
I dunno... I just found the whole experience a little... strange. Maybe it's coz it wasn't part of my usual routine - y'know, even though it was taking place in the same studio space I've been going to every morning, it was a completely different context, with new faces, new teacher... there was a bit of an air of uncertainty. I was thinking "Hurry up and say the opening chant so I can start and get on with it..."
And when I got my first adjustment in Paschimottanasa, I remember thinking "WOW! Too strong!" I think I just wasn't prepared for it. Same reaction in Marichyasana A when I was being assisted deeper into it (and no adjustment on the other side, which I found a bit odd. But the room was starting to fill up quite a bit by then so how can you fault that).
And then I picked up on the weirdest thing... Like when she came to help me with Chakrabandasana after dropbacks - I distinctly remember thinking "Oh, she's wearing make-up". Not like that was weird, it was just weird that I noticed that. Coz... Not like it matters AT ALL, but I just notice the most inane details (I guess none of the other female teachers I've had have worn make-up while teaching?) I dunno why I'm even bringing this up, I'm a weirdo! HAHAHA!
But the Chakrabandasana assist was AWESOME! So 3 half-dropbacks with arms crossed to chest, arms on the floor on the 4th dropback, then she made me drop my head to floor, walk the hands in as far as I could... I couldn't see my feet but they felt close (they probably weren't AT ALL, they just FELT close coz I was gonna explode already). And then she said "try and lift yourself up again".
The first couple of seconds I was like "Say whaaaaaaat?" Coz it felt like I could die here already. But as I pressed up, it felt like I was going up into the pose! Couldn't quite extend my arms or legs fully coz I would've just exploded completely, but I got a lift up!
But... I digress. My whole point from the beginning was... Once upon a time, I was quite the workshop junkie. Now, more and more I'm not really feeling the workshop vibe. Another ashtanga rockstar teacher, DS, will be giving a series of workshops in London later this year, and while I'm dying to do some classes with him, I looked at the workshop line-up and was completely "meh" about all of them. The only thing I'd be interested in is... er... a Mysore-style class with him! (But I wouldn't fly all the way back here just to do that ONE class with him).
Maybe I'm just going through a phase now where I'm pretty happy just figuring out the poses I'm struggling with on my own. Er... And then going to check out if there are specific tutorials on Youtube (from other rockstar ashtangis) when I feel like it. It's like having a workshop in your own time! And for FREE! HAHAHA!
I'm still all for workshops. It's just at this point in time, I'm not really feeling it. It feels more like a distraction now - too much information from too many people (I know I'm contradicting myself, coz shouldn't the same thing apply to those Youtube videos I'm watching too?)
What's your take on it?