Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Gift of Technology

I have to say, I love the technology that brings us together, I do--like, want to marry it, have kids with it and move to the country, love it. Now, I preface with a caveat that the same technology can divide us and disconnect us, I realize this and, therefore, work to be in the middle, creating a balance.

That said, the fact that I can prepare for classes day after day by collecting inspirations from a collective of teachers far beyond my geographic location is mind blowing to me! At my wee little fingertips I have the internet and Blogs--I freakin' love the blog~o~sphere! I have magazines--some of my favorites being Yoga Journal, Yoga+, Shambhala Sun and Yoga Magazine. I have books and books and books galore!

In my classes last night, I worked with Vira III (Warrior III) as explored in a recent Yoga Journal article, Warrior 1.5 (You're not out of the loop, it's his own invention :-) introduced and explored by Jason Crandell and a technique for seated meditation in a way explored by Kira Ryder.

Let me lay this out for you.

Vira III as explored in Yoga Journal (I'll post the issue later)

I had the students go to the wall with two blocks and position themselves so they could lift one leg behind them, taking the foot to the wall, leg parallel to the floor. The hands were pressing into the blocks positioned on the floor so wrists were under the shoulders. The action of pressing into the hands to fortify upper body, maintaining a lift and pressing into the back foot against the wall to 'feel' that action of Vira, was super cool and no less of a strengthener than the "full" expression (and I use full expression loosely).

Warrior 1.5 by Jason Crandell

You can find his exploration/explanation here but I'll give you the gist. Jason (cuz we're on a first name basis and all) shared that Vira I has been a struggle for him and he found himself wrestling with the pose or avoiding it altogether. I can relate to this as, I too, have had some come-to-Jesus moments with Vira I. So much so that when I have heard it called in the past, I literally thought, *AUGH*.

So, Jason turned his torso in, every so slightly, to the place between Vira I and II--voila! Vira 1.5 was born and, for him, he was able to stay, to explore and to partner with his body, over time, toward the "fuller" expression (again, used loosely). However, I would add that if you only ever practice 1.5 and never find your way to Vira I, it won't matter at all in anyway what-so-ever, so long as you find a way to 'stay' and cultivate an explorative mind.

'Sitting' as explored by Kira Ryder

Full video here (very short).

Basically, we came to the wall for sukhasana on a blanket and positioned a block behind our backs. Exactly where the block was positioned was up to the student or if they used a block at all--for some, it got in the way and the wall was enough support. Kira's idea is that the block provides a way to open the chest by rolling the shoulders back--I liked it and personally found a new opening that I have yet to access in traditional sukhasana, especially for a seated meditation.

See what I mean?


It wasn't so long ago that books were a new means of transmitting knowledge as a progression from oral transmission (which is still a fave of mine too) and books, though in print, were not available as we now know them to be. Maybe a handful of copies, keeping them ever so precious and rare, usually in the hands of the elite.

I am grateful for the spread of knowledge, for the way we connect over the divides blurring lines along the way.

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