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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States
Karen is a yogini, writer, student, teacher and meditator. She founded Garden Street School of Yoga in 2000. Karen lives with her husband Chris. They have two amazing sons, Eli and Leo (both of them young men).

Jun 5, 2010

Happy Bullets & WD-40

It has been a great week. And the sun is out at last. I'll celebrate by using bullets in my post today. Oh Boy!
(If you don't make it all the way through this post - be sure to at least go to the end for a treat).
  • Jen and Thine achieved their first unassisted urdhva dhanurasana. These two amazing women are so strong and consistent in their practice and in their attitude. They have both practiced urdhva dhanurasana every day, with steady effort and dedication, over a long time. (That equals abhyasa - in case you didn't catch it.) They would attempt urdhva dhanurasana every day, a minimum of 3 times, even though I know it must have felt so frustrating to NEVER get their heads off the floor). And then - finally - the seeds of their consistent practice sprouted - and up they lifted. That was a highlight of my week - and believe me - of theirs too. (By the way - Thine is about 65 - and it never occurred to that a woman her age need not be fiddling around with full back-bend. Go Thine!).

  • I had a nice long talk with Sundari. I can't wait to see her in person next week. We have been friends since the very early days of Anusara. We first met while studying with John at Inner Harmony Retreat center in - I believe - '98. I love her.

  • Sundari and I sketched out our plan for co-teaching the therapeutic workshop. I have not co-taught with anyone since I lived in Boise. There I did a ton of co-teaching in our school of Chinese Medicine and Asian Bodywork. But it's been 10 years since I left Boise and that was a different subject matter. True confession: I am nervous. I am slated to co-teach with 3 senior teachers this summer and I keep dipping into doubting that I will have anything useful to offer to the effort. (I'll probably start having "work dreams" like my old restaurant dreams - when I used to wait tables - in which I would, for example, dream that I had left an 8 top waiting for 4 hours while trying to find matching socks). But, anyway, I contained my neurosis and Sundari and I had a great planning session on the phone. I think I'm pretty well untangled from my self-doubt cramp for now. We'll see if it holds. I may need WD-40. Do you know you can untangle even hopelessly tangled necklaces with WD-40?

  • Both days of the workshop with Sundari are completely full with a waiting list.

  • The Summer schedule really begins in earnest 2 days after Sundari leaves when we begin the 100 hour teacher training. Week I of that adventure begins June 16. Great people are coming from Canada, Montana, Oregon and locally. I've worked with almost all of them before - with a couple of exceptions. It will be a great reunion and I can't wait to meet the new people.

  • I have 3 main pots on the stove for the up and coming year.....Slow Cook, Medium Heat and Pressure Cook.

  • The Pressure Cook actually begins this summer with the 3 separate week-long Teacher trainings, the third of which I'll co-teach with my friend Christina. (I'll keep my WD-40 handy). I am really looking forward to that. Just like Sundari, Christina and I have been friends since the very early days of Anusara and first met while studying with John at Inner harmony Retreat center in '98. And I love her.

  • In terms of Slow Cook and Medium Heat, I've planned some new things for the Autumn:
  • Slow Cook: I've decided to offer an Immersion in a weekly or semi-weekly format - a couple hours each time. This will probably be on Tuesday afternoons before the Level III class - because there are several people in that class who have been coming for almost 10 years and who have wanted to take an Immersion but can't really do weekends or week-longs. For the most part they never intend to teach Yoga. This won't be an official Anusara Immersion. Maybe I'll have to go back to calling it what I called my first ever, in-depth study, 108 hour program in 2003: "Beauty School".
  • More Slow Cook: I will be offering a Teaching Refinement class - - again in a semi-weekly format - a couple hours each time. I am REALLY excited about this. We can take things slow - a bit at a time - slow cook style.....and refine everything about our teaching - things like effective sequencing, excellent phrases, clean cuing, use of voice and language, and all the rest. This will be open by application to teachers who are actively teaching yoga. Stay tuned.......this is going to be so good.

  • Medium Heat: This category is going to be filled by the Official Anusara Immersion that begins in September. It is already nearly full. I'm excited about it. It runs on Saturdays and the enrollment is such great people.......I'm really sitting here smiling as I think of that group of students. We are going to have a very good year of study together.
OK - one more really great thing about this week. The people in the Advanced Studies program are doing some excellent study of the book Self Observation by Red Hawk, who is a fellow student of my spiritual teacher. It s a great -a really great - book. This book is an invaluable tool for the purpose of strengthening attention. But - like all great tools - its an easy one to marvel at but never pick up and get proficient with. The advanced studies group do have a shared (not open to the public) blog, where they post the results of their study and contemplation. It is excellent - a marvel of depth and understanding. And to take it even deeper I decided to set up study groups. This week they started meeting via conference call. Wow! The response was fantastic. This is a serious group of students who really know how to look into things. I showed up on the calls and just sat in the background to listen and marvel. Lucky me. So - that was something new this week that made me just as happy as Jen and Thine achieving their first unassisted urdhva dhanurasana.

  • If you read this far - one more big joy of the week was that after being too busy all spring, I finally logged on to Michael Clarke's Blog. Michale (Mic) is an Australian friend, an Anusara Yoga practitioner and he is another fellow student of my spiritual teacher - Lee. So - as I said - I checked out his blog. OMG! (Do they say that In Australia I wonder? My Irish friend used to say JMJ.) Mic's blog is so excellent. I told him I didn't know if I should thank him or not, because now I will have to add the reading of his blog to the list of things I must do. And even worse - I think I may develop blog envy.....and need more WD-40. Thanks a lot Mic! Anyway - I need to add a blog role to this blog of mine - I've been meaning to do that for quite awhile now - but for the moment I will just paste his address here. Enjoy. http://vimalablue.wordpress.com/

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