Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Building up to flying!

My first Anusara teacher’s last class in the UK was a sad one. I didn’t really know what Anusara was at that point, although I’d been studying with this teacher for several months. I just liked her and her classes made me feel amazing, that’s all I needed right then. The thought of her going was quite terrifying, mainly because I never thought I’d find a teacher like her again. And to be fair only a few have come close but that’s a story for another blog.

During this class, I remember particularly what she said in her opening “We’re going to do arm balances because I want to leave you feeling really strong”. Strong was the exact opposite of how arm balances made me feel at that time. Like a lead weight would be more precise.

What I learnt from that lesson is that arm balances are built up, step by step. You can’t miss a step or you’ll come crashing down. You need to open up the four corners of the body (shoulders and hips), build strength and muscle. There’s usually a little trick involved too, something they don’t tell you in the yoga books, something teeny which rocks your world. Then there’s that final act of surrender, when you’ve put all the building blocks in place you just teeter into balance.

I remember Marc Holzman saying, there’s nothing quite an arm balance for opening you up. They’ll drive you crazy for months, then there’s the moment of exquisite bliss when you find your way into the pose and you know life’s never going to be the same again. That’s why I keep chipping away at them, because there’s nothing quite like that delicious moment between effort and surrender when everything comes together. That’s when you start to fly on and off your mat!

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