I tapped into a resource that helped me understand my body better.
I’ve been a fan of Yoga Spirit as it pioneer the use of online audio and webinars with leading yoga teachers and other experts, like Amy Weintraub, Leslie Kaminoff and Judy Hanson Lasater. It disappeared from the web for a while only to come back to life as part of YogaTherapyWeb.com. In January, the site turned itself into Yoga U. Most content requires payment for downloads, but there are a lot of free resources that can wet an appetite for the for-pay material.
I signed up for Tom Myers‘s two-session webinar: Fascial Fitness – An Emerging Revolution in Movement Science (January 25 and February 1). It also comes with other material, including some videos of fascial fitness routines. He wrote Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists, 2nd edition and I plan on reading it as soon as I get through the dozen other books piled up on my desk. That’s why I signed up for the webinar — I can capture the essence of what Myers is teaching in a couple of hours. The first session clarified in my mind that I am on the right track in trying to deal with my peripheral neuropathy. He has an elegant compelling conceptual framework for parsing the body and its internal matrix, backed up by the latest scientific research on the role of fascia. In this webinars, he is tailoring his message specifically to yoga instructors and giving suggestions for optimizing sequencing to improve fascial fitness.
This webinar, along with other webinars and interviews, will be recorded and available for purchase at a later date at YogaU Online.
Some big names are coming to the DC area in the first three months of 2011. For more details (schedule, costs, requirements), go to the website of the hosting yoga studio. I don’t mean to downplay other workshops and events that are taking place during the first quarter, but when high-profile instructors pass through the DC area, it’s worthwhile to spotlight them. You will notice that March 10-14 is shaping up to be week-long overdose of quality yoga. I will update this list as more information becomes available.
StudioDC Yoga Center: The Pursuit of Happy Hips: Theory and Vinyasa (3 hours) and Superflow Surf Yoga : A transformative + unique movement practice (2 Hours) with Eoin Finn, Saturday, January 22
Although I was not planning to mention events beyond March, I wanted to highlight two events: StudioDC Yoga Center – Forrest Yoga Master Classes with Ana Forest, May 18-19 and Willow Street Yoga – Yoga of Fulfillment: Yoga & the Path of Destiny with Rod Stryker, April 9-13, which is an yoga immersion course.
National Yoga Month is September around the country, and there will be Global Mala events all around the DC area, plus workshops by high-profile teachers. Many events will revolve around doing 108 sun salutations or other permutations as an offering or garland.
Inner Reaches (Gathersburg) is offering a “108-minutes of yoga” session on September 20. It’s 12-5, but the yoga starts are 2:00 pm. This flyer has more details or go to the website.
Yoga Month is sponsoring a one-week of free yoga promotion at participating studios. It’s a great chance to sample a different studio. Other events will be coming up, and I’ll try to point to them here, if possible, but you can also check with your home yoga studio to see what’s happening there.
I am currently reading Stephen Cope’s Yoga and the Quest for the True Self (Bantam Books: 1999). It’s a very breezy read — at least so far — about a man’s discovery of yoga. It’s very much in the line of another yoga book that I enjoyed, Amy Weintraub’s Yoga for Depression because both are written with a journalistic flare, serious scholarship and a deep commitment to yoga. Both write most of the book in the first person so there is a personal immediacy in the narrative. Cope was/is a psychiatrist so he is sensitive to the whole human spiritual dimension of yoga. He also happens to be giving an account of the Kripalu Center, which underwent a major upheaval after its guru was discovered to be dabbling with some of his female followers. Both Weintraub and Cope were at Kripalu together and acknowledge each other in their respective books.
I had been planning on reading this book for years but never bothered to order it. Last week, I put in an order for other material at Amazon and I said to myself, why not. I should also pick up his other book, The Wisdom of Yoga: A Seeker’s Guide to Extraordinary Living (Bantam Books: 2006), but I can’t possibly handle both at the same time, plus all the other reading that stacks up on my desk and shelves.
I have been lazy in putting up my photos and comments on several yoga ventures that I’ve been involved in. For instance, as announced here, I went to an Amy Weintraub workshop at Spiral Flight Yoga (no longer exists) on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington. This was back in — shock — March. It was a four-hour session called Life Force Yoga to Beat the Blues and Amy (her photo is on the right) kept the participants actively involved throughout the whole show at a pace that would have been daunting had not most people already been acquainted with her work from her book, Yoga for Depression: A Compassionate Guide to Relieve Suffering Through Yoga, or from her CD. But there’s a big difference going through all the pranayama exercises, chants, visualizations and yoga postures with her leading the way, rather than just picturing them in your mind and trying to imitate them.
I went to the event with my daughter, Stephanie. The practice room was full, perhaps as many as forty people. There were wall-to-wall mats as a way of defining personal space during the talk and exercises. Although we did not do any vinyasas, you still need an area to spread out in. At the end, Amy spent as much time as possible talking to people and signing her book. I got her to sign my copy, dog-eared, underlined, comments in the margins, tagged with colored flags.
While putting this entry together, I noticed on the Spiral Yoga website that Amy will be repeating this workshop in March next year, which I recommended to anyone wishing to deepen their pranayama practice or acquire skills for managing their emotional balance. She has a compelling approach, and this is a very accessible form of yoga with immediate pay-off.
I am taking a workshop at Spiral Flight Yoga (no longer exists) in Georgetown on March 19. Amy Weintraub will be leading her Life Force Yoga To Beat The Blues. This is the first time that I’ve seen her offer a seminar or workshop in the DC area.
I have never been to Spiral Flight Yoga. It is just not conveniently located for me. It does have a strong schedule of classes, workshops and services, especially on alternative healing therapies, like acupuncture and reiki.
Yoga Spirit [website has vanished without a trace] offers lectures by top-knotch yoga instructors via the phone at a modest cost (about $20 per hour):
Yoga Spirit’s tele-classes are live, interactive training classes conducted over the telephone through state-of-the-art teleconferencing bridge systems. You will receive timely knowledge, tools and techniques over the telephone that can benefit your life, teaching, practice and business immediately.
Among the teachers participating are Judith Hanson Lasater, Amy Weintraub, Elise Miller and Paul Grilley. Lat year they had Shiva Rea. Some of these lectures are for fellow yoga teachers who want to get insight into teaching certain techniques, but I could see any yoga practitioner get a lot out of the classes. If you are in a region that does not have many big-name teachers coming through your area and you can’t afford to go to a retreat or a yoga conference, then this would be a great chance to hear some interesting yoga experts.
If you can’t make it to the lecture at the appointed time, you will still pick up the class by listening to a recording.