Here in the Central Valley of California we are having a hot summer. That’s not so unusual for us, but there is something about seeing our green lawns disappear that makes the hot weather seem hotter. We “escaped’ this weekend to the Bay Area, Berkeley in particular, to remember what it feels like to wear a sweater and see green.
I love going to Berkeley for many reasons. While there, I always take a yoga class. It is wonderful, as a student of yoga as well as a teacher, to be part of the group dynamic of a formal class.It is a treat. I returned to the same studio I have gone to the last couple of trips. The teacher is extremely experienced and trained for many years in Ashtanga yoga. Ashtanga, is a very physical style of yoga, that has three well defined levels of practice. The class I attended was for Level 1-2. You can Google “Ashtanga Yoga” to get a flavor for what makes it a very popular style of yoga.
Throughout the practice, the teacher encouraged us to find the beauty and joy in our practice and to have integrity. I found that meant to me that I was not physically able to do all the postures, frequently finding myself in child’s pose to rest. I purposely placed myself in the back part of the studio, as I had memory of the prior class I had taken, which was Level 1, and extremely challenging to me. My joy was in the fact that I did as I often tell my own students to do: honor your body’s ability at this moment. Ashtanga and Ananda yogas couldn’t be further apart in the physicality of the practices, but they are not far apart in the element that makes yoga so personal: being in tune with your entire being.
Come find out what yoga is about during our weekly class held Monday notes (July 20) from 6:30-8pm at the UU Church of Fresno. We spend time in meditation, breath work and of course asanas.Hope to see you there!