Three weeks ago I started practicing Iyengar yoga with Louie Ettling in Vancouver. I’d already been hitting up a few of my favourite classes at East Side Yoga Studio since the birth of my son so I thought I’d be in a good place to connect with Louie and make some new progress in my practice.
I learned a few hard lessons right away:
1) You will have to deconstruct everything you thought you knew about yoga and bring those little pieces to Louie with great humility.
2) You are not less of a yogi if you have to use a crazy amount of props.
3) Stop and pay attention. No – REALLY pay attention.
4) If something hurts or doesn’t feel right make a scene until you get some help. It’s your body and your practice and the experts can help but they aren’t psychic (ok, maybe Louie is a little psychic – but still!).
Here I was 12 weeks after my son was born – I had practiced yoga through most of my pregnancy (with a 3 week hiatus when the little guy arrived) and I had put in some serious time over the last 5 years making yoga a part of my life. There were 30 day challenges, a trip to India for a month long intensive, the first section of the 200 hour teacher training (the list goes on). For a gal who is naturally as un-flexible as I am, it had been a lot of work and I had come a long way.
So, it’s the Sanskrit word Ahamkara that got my first work out with Louie. Yep – my ego.
In the first two classes I was told not to go up into full shoulder stand (what? really?!), I hurt my knee in supta virasana when I didn’t heed the warnings, I was asked to come out of savasana and slow it down, not once, but twice and I was told I needed a little less Air and a little more Earth. Schooled!!!
Did it make me want to roll up my mat and get out of there? No way. I was fired up, excited and ready to go. I love this stuff! (and hey, there are ropes to hang off of!)
So, here we are, another new beginning for me in this mind and body bending practice we all call yoga. I can’t wait to see how the rest of my classes go with Louie, where that takes my practice with my East Side teachers and if it can help me take my home practice seriously. Plus, in July I start Module 2 of 3 at Yyoga for the 200 hour teacher training program with Rachel Scott. Should be fun!!
Stay tuned for more self discoveries on my latest path in yoga.