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Showing posts from May, 2011

Yoga with Glenn Black - Day #6

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Today was day six.  And I worked, struggled and sweat for three more hours on my yoga mat, swung some kettlebells, tried to lay my left lower leg on top of my right lower leg and tried to be calm and relaxed and endure the discomfort as my hips screamed at me, “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US!?!?!”  Emotionally, mentally, I don’t know what, exactly, but I seem to have hit a wall. Not physically. I’m doing fine physically.  But I started to get the feeling that I don’t care about yoga anymore.  I don’t see the point anymore. I started to wonder what my life would be like if I never got my hips any more flexible than they are right now. And it didn’t seem so bad. I’m not in any pain.  I’ve never noticed any problems with my hips how they are. It’s never interrupted my quality of life. What happened to, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Glenn has talked about the Buddhist concept of beginner’s mind.  And I think I went there. I suddenly became a yoga novice again. So, I can relate to those p…

Yoga with Glenn Black - Day #5

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Last night I had a mad craving for chocolate, so I had a vegan chocolate brownie from the Cafe. And whatever that brownie lacked in animal products, it certainly made up for in chocolately chocolateness. It was a chocolate explosion. And since I ate it right before bed, I didn’t really sleep that well.   So today, I paid the price. I was a bit tired and I could really feel the difference in my ability to be strong and present in class today. I’m always telling my clients about the importance of sleep in a healthy life, and today I was living proof. Some of the things we did today were things I don’t typically struggle with, but I was struggling today.  And some of the things that I typically struggle with, I was struggling with MORE today. I also found it hard to stay focused and aware during my Corpse pose relaxation.  We did a lot of kettlebell stuff first thing today.  We did many of the standard swings and then a few things that I’ve never heard of before.  One new-to-me skill I did…

Yoga with Glenn Black - Day #4

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Today marks the half way point.  Hump day.  And despite the large presence of both, so far I have only been bitten by one mosquito and no ticks have found there way into my flesh. At one point, I was sharing my yoga mat with a beetle, and on the way home from dinner tonight, I stopped to watch a squirrel eat blossoms and discard the leaves and twigs onto the path below. Yesterday I was wondering if I was going to be able to make it through the week. I wasn’t sure my body or my mind was going to be strong enough to endure the torture. I entertained thoughts of escape. But he broke me down, and now I guess I’m prepared for my enlightenment and ascension, so I’ll see all you suckers later! Hahaha, just kidding.  I didn’t even really come here for enlightenment, I came to see what Glenn was doing because I know he’s beyond yoga and that’s the direction I want to head.  Glenn confessed to us today that his goal is to break us down.  He’s literally doing that, physically and mentally.  I can f…

Yoga with Glenn Black - Day #3

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Today we're only scheduled for a half day. I don’t know what I'm going to do with myself for the second half of the day, but there’s no shortage of stuff to do here.There’s a library, a bookstore and a cafe. There’s basketball courts and tennis courts. There’s a meditation labyrinth and a peaceful place called Sanctuary that’s also appropriate for mediation. There are lots of walking trails through the woods, and there are kayaks that we can use on the lake.
I realize I have mostly written about the the Yoga Immersion. But just the experience of being here at Omega is worthy of mentioning.  I made a little video of my walk to the breakfast hall this morning and then I had a very light breakfast anticipating a lot of tough work in today’s class.   
As you can see in the video, it’s like a nature reserve, or a very expensive campsite. It is so nice (especially being from Manhattan) to walk slowly along a stream and listen to the birds and the babbling creek and see the wind move t…

Yoga with Glenn Black - Day #2

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I woke up very refreshed this morning.  And I wasn’t sore like I thought I would be, although my legs and hips did feel very ‘hard.’  It was like I was flexing my muscles but I wasn’t.   Glenn, ever the contrarian, started class this morning with the Corpse pose. After doing a few basic poses including Awkward Chair and what I think is his favorite, Bound Angle Pose, Glenn put a toy monkey in the middle of the room and turned it on.  This toy started to laugh and roll around like a little child on the floor.  We all laughed and Glenn then said he wanted us to do it.  It took some people more encouragement than others, but this was something I was a natural at. I rolled and laughed and it brought to mind the work I do with Nia Five Stages.  In fact, a lot of this work is bringing Nia to mind. The problem with yoga is that it is static.  And in many cases movement is much more effective and getting deeper into the joints and tissue and at releasing stuck areas. He has us gyrating and danci…

Yoga with Glenn Black - Day #1

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We spent the morning basically mobilizing our hip and shoulder joints. In the three hours we were together, we only really did about four yoga poses.  The rest of the time was spent in preparation for the poses, or doing movements and holding positions that indicate our body’s readiness for certain poses. For example, at one point we were standing and he told us to hold our arms out to the side at shoulder length and hold. As we held this “crucifix” position, he described what was required of our bodies and what movements or adjustments we want to avoid. Then, just when that was about to be become too excruciating to hold any longer, he told us to attempt to bring our hands together behind our backs, without letting the hands drop below the level of the shoulders.  Well, I couldn’t do it, but I reached back and got my hands as close together as I could without letting them drop below my shoulders.  And BOY did I discover a weak link in my body. That was tough. I kept wanting to put my ar…

Going to Omega

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As I sit in Penn Station, waiting for the Amtrak to Rhinecliff, I’m prepared to shift gears into a week with Glenn Black at Omega Institute.  It’s always a good idea to leave New York for a length of time to focus on peace, introspection and regaining serenity. Glenn’s  personal study of yoga has included much personal exploration in solitude, in addition to studying at length with some great masters. I respect his realistic perspective on yoga and movement and use of our bodies in general. Glenn is also one of Shmuel Tatz’ top proteges and one of the few people who can truly call themselves a Body Tuner.  And my teacher, Jill Miller, who created and certified me to teach Yoga Tune Up® was a long-time student of Glenn Black. So, this weekend is described as a Yoga Immersion with a focus on precision in asana and also work with Kriya and Nidra, which I’m looking forward to. And I believe we’ll also be doing some Body Tuning. I don’t have any expectations or goals for the week. But I am …