This time around I'm going to start with the animals. I don't know how I kept forgetting to talk about them. First, there is a rabbit that lives on the premises and he or she comes out all the time and eats lunch with us when we sit outside. We, eating our kale and the rabbit eating the nearby plants. It's very sweet and the rabbit seems not to be phased by us at all. Then last week when I was walking home from Lenox I saw a deer eating off of a tree at Tanglewood. That was an amazing site because it was so close to me. Really beautiful. Then for the final and most strange animal encounter. One day I was in my room with a few of my other roommates, trying to take a nap. All of a sudden we heard this loud tapping and looked out the window and there was this HUGE crow tapping on the window with its beak. When we walked closer to the window it seemed to fly off, but then it came back and tapped away for a while. It was like he was trying to get someones attention. So I jokingly said, who has got the crow as an animal totem in here and it turned out that my roommate Suzane actually has a crow as her animal totem! So I think he came to see if she was home so they could talk. LOL. Honestly I don't know, but I do know that it was amazing to see, but a little too close to Alfred Hitchcock for me. LOL!
Last night for our evening yoga class we had a guest teacher named Jay. He's a real athletic looking guy so we knew this class was going to be kick-ass for sure and he told us so in so many words. But he was a really great teacher and even though he was making us work, he was making sure we had a lot of fun falling down. After dinner he taught an arm-balancing class, which was great. I have a special shoulder so I'm always curious as to how far I can go with it. Well last night I did a forearm stand on my own! Well for about 2.9 seconds, but I was up there! Hey, you have to start somewhere. We also worked on handstand, tripod headstand, crow, side crow, scorpion (which will be another lifetime to get into for most of us) and a few other poses that kicked my butt. But we had so much fun trying that it was an amazing class. It was one of our optional classes, but I'm so glad I took my time out to go. Now I have some idea of how to teach and assist people in arm balances. There is still so much to learn, but I'm so glad a have a bit of a foundation in that area. I'm going to get his DVD and keep working on my core. Yeah arm balances!
Well kids, Practice Teach 2 is coming up. Feels like we just did the first one and here we are again. So this time we have to teach for 45 minutes and we must include Warriors 1 & 2 and Nadi Shodhana and Kaplabhati pranayama (breath). Just to give myself a little test, I'll tell you that the sanskrit for warriors 1 and 2 is Virabhadrasana Eka and Dwi. As far as the breath, Nadi Shodhana is alternate nostril breathing and Kapalabhati, which is known in some circles as the breath of fire, is where you breath with a rapid inhale and a passive exhale through the nose. It's also called skull polishing breath because it helps to clear the mind. Not bad for not book in front of me. I will admit I had to look up a couple spellings, but I'll be speaking it way more than writing it so I feel good about that! As I said in my last blog, I'm a crammer. I think about what I want to do for some time before it actually hits the page or the stage. So that will probably happen again for this teach as well. On Monday night I'll be getting it all together and I'll report back on Tuesday night. :-D
So I'll leave you on this fine Saturday with this. I'm not sure if I said this before, but here in school we are also learning the Yamas and Niyamas (I'll break them down for you later.). Anyway, I picked the Niyama of Ishvar-Pranidhana (surrender, opening to the Universe) to practice for the month and beyond. Surrender can be really challenging for me and I'm sure many of us. Especially living in New York, when waiting for anything is hard for us to fathom. So I am working on both surrender and opening. This niyama really much to my yoga practice on the mat as well. If I can't find surrender in the poses and I'm always tight or holding then I will not be able to open to all the benefits and gifts that are inside the postures. So, surrender. I'm trying not to think too hard out here. It can make you mad and I don't mean angry. LOL. Just trying to sit with what I've got and always have gratitude. Surrender and be open to receive.
Thanks so much for continuing to share this journey with me. Remember we have almost reached out goal! Thank you for all who have donated and those whose donations are still to come. Have a wonderful week and I'll check in on Tuesday night!