Tucson

Back from a weekend workshop in Tucson with Richard Freeman. Still processing the info (as we were ending, he said, “Don’t worry about remembering what you’ve learned. It will remember you.”) and quite honestly I have no idea whether I will process it all in discursive language — a nice opportunity to use some of that faith that we learn things even if we don’t workshop them in the mind.

Anyhow, the more obvious highlights:

Leg position in Marichyasanas A and C. He explained the bent leg as a “squat.” The leg was pulled back as far as possible, which meant the tibia was not perpendicular to the floor, but the knee was actually out past the toes. I was giddy with glee: I’d always thought that was cheating and that I had to resist the urge to pull my foot way back.

Urdhva dhanurasana set up: we started off on our backs, with legs and arms set up for urdhva dhanurasana. Now, on an exhale, pull with the hamstrings (not the quads) and slide up into a pre-urdhva d position (head on the floor, feet in tiptoes). On the next inhale, rise up into the full pose.

Navasana: a little curl in the coccyx, and keep the muscular action in the upper abs, while releasing the lower back muscles. This action cuts a lot of the psoas tension out of the pose.

Being a traveling yoga teacher is probably rather like being a touring rock star: no doubt you get sick of the repetition. I studied with Allen Ginsberg, and he once told me that it was kind of a drag, how people always wanted him to read “Howl,” and write more poems like it, etc.

I’m feeling a little burnt from practicing seven (and today, eight) days in a row. I’ll skip a day tomorrow. Today, though, I am looking forward to Mysore for a few reasons: I am really open after a bunch of days of practice, I am in a kind of delicate mind-space after doing some traveling (and it’s interesting to see what practice feels like when I’m not in usual everyday mind), and I want a practice in familiar surroundings to indicate to myself that I am back. All kind of weird attachments and detachments borne of travel, but there you have it. I haven’t transcended my attachment to place.

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3 Responses

  1. will you post more notes from the Freeman workshop?

  2. Hi Ralph.

    Sure, I can post more notes. Anything in particular you’re interested in hearing about?

  3. i just think he’s amazing lol. anything you’re willing to share!

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