Portland is a lovely city.
It’s a wonderful thing to be surrounded with like-minded people. People who live for Farmer’s Markets, slow food, renewable energy, sustainable living…
I’ve mentioned before that “I don’t travel well.” I usually have my normal IBS gripes… cramps, nausea, pain, bloating. Then, on top of that, i have difficulty sleeping in other beds/couches/etc. But here with Yellow and her husband, it’s like I’m home. No stomach pain. No sleepless nights. There’s even Henry, Yellow’s Brittany puppy, to keep me from missing my Kula too much. They’re so alike, it’s frightening and endearing.
Speaking of Kula, bad news from the vet yesterday (Husband took her in). The broken bone fragment is not healing, is too small to attach with pins, and needs to be surgically removed. Should be about $1500 for the surgery, then another $3-400 for the recovery. Oy. But it’s that or a lifetime of chronic pain for our beloved pooch, so it’s a no-brainer.
Okay, back to Portland. Today and yesterday I practiced with Anne Finstad. It felt so good to be touched in my practice. Her adjustments are very gentle, just a tap here, light pressure there. At Supta K yesterday she asked, “do you need help getting in to it?” No, I replied. I have to fend for myself in this one on a daily basis, but I’d love an adjustment. So she waited while I wriggled my way in, I crossed my feet, and bound my hands. Then she lifted me off the floor by my feet, letting the weight of my torso pull me down as the ankles crossed behind my back instead of behind my head, where they usually settle. Five breaths suspended like this, deep into those hips. Breathe, don’t panic, I thought. Breathe.
So much is buried down in those hips. So much emotion comes to the surface. Fear. Sadness. Anxiety. And then these clear away and I’m left with clarity, openness.
Yesterday, assisted dropbacks for the first time ever. For some reason, David doesn’t think I need them or something, so we’ve never done them. I’ve just always stood up, dropped back, repeat, repeat, repeat, as he maybe helps a little by stabilizing my hips or a slight nudge here or there where needed. Then on the last one, he goes in for the kill, and the ankles are grabbed.
So my thoughts on assisted dropbacks: wowzers.
That about sums it up.
Yesterday after the assisted, I went back one more time and walked it in, just brushing my heels with my hands. Then back up.
Today as I dropped back, Anne took my wrists to my ankles for the first time in months. “Elbows in.” No gasp. Fairly even breath. Mild panic sensations. Back up. Then the lovely squish. Oh, to be adjusted every day of my practice… what a dream it would be.
After class, talking with Anne. “Have you considered teaching in your area?” I answered that I had taught for a while, but gave up my class because of my need to practice with my instructor on those days. I said I didn’t feel like I had enough experience being taught to teach others. She thought for a few moments, said some wise words that I can’t remember (damn short term memory!), and ended with, “If you’re asked to teach, then it’s the right time. I don’t know the reasoning for this, I just know that this is something greater guiding you to teach.”
“Funny you should mention this, I was asked just last week to teach a few Ashtanga classes by a local studio owner.”
I am going to make a 6 month schedule: sept-feb. I would like you to consider a few things:
1. open studio and if you can commit
2. teaching a beginner ashtanga class
3. teaching sunday ashtanga again
I had completely shunned the inquiry. No, I’m not ready. Who am I to teach? I haven’t learned enough myself. I don’t have the experience. I’m not authorized. I’ve never been to Mysore. What if I fail? What if someone gets hurt? What if I’m not good enough? What if no one comes?
All of these doubts run through my head when I think of teaching. And then I feel this obligation. If not me, then who else? I don’t know a single Ashtanga “purist” in San Luis Obispo besides myself. How can I ever expect to find a community of ashtangis within this larger Central Coast community if I don’t strive to create one?