September 14, 2014

a yoga class for Upenn CHIBE retreat in Cape May

Photography: Hoag Levins
Now I know why teachers who have been studying and practicing for well over a decade say, "after you've been working at this for about 15 years, then you can teach it." Great teacher said.


CHIBE-ROYBAL Retreat with UPENN at Congress Hall in Cape May gave me the chance to lead a group of scientists in the art and medicine of yoga.



What a courageous group of intelligent and empowered women.
I got my feet wet with guiding a group in yoga. Sort of.

It showed me how far I have to go and how far I've come.
Teaching has taught me.

My practice of disciplined ashtanga study and asanas, is in its infancy and leading me to the foundations of Hatha practice.

I tried to lead them, for an hour, at 6:30 am. after a night of bonding beach side with plenty of martini's.

The class began regardless of my emotion, sleepiness or otherwise.
Alcohol does not increase bendiness (Lucas.)

I found myself faced with the eyes of 10 others- looking for instruction. I was prompted to begin immediately despite thinking to myself quickly, "why are they looking at me, do what you do usually..." There was an intensity to their eyes I won't soon forget.

I tried to bring them with me, on this most gorgeous of mornings on a blissful beach, to a journey I have come to adore. Emily demonstrated sun salutations and we infused a little Rodney Yee, pigeon and Ustrasana towards the end.

Emily Kane demonstrated, while I walked around to each individual assisting and adjusting their postures- I could not actually do yoga and talk at the same time. That is a fine art of flow, for sure.

I gave them each a stone to hold onto, some grasped it for dear life, while others wondered what they should do with it.
I immediately saw in each person the subtle shifts that could help them with these asana's going forward, as they plunged ahead with such power and might. Later asking, "what's the secret? It's just to relax isn't it?" There are so many "secrets" and none at the same time.

Dana got into Ustrasana quite boldly. I loved seeing her impressed with herself when she saw it was all in the method.
Pam Shaw, I saw in the elevator this morning and she took up another yoga class the next day, determined! She has such life in her eyes that one.
Alison held a beautiful practice with a deep connection to herself and her independence just before plunging into the ocean and delivering a lecture on her massively impressive research project.
Emily has such a united flow about her and helped lead this class and me, without her fearless youth and confidence it would not have been the same.

Joelle is determined and her focus uninterrupted- those students challenge the teachers.
She is a force and is the one who brought this group together. Joelle & Beth the gatherers.

Most importantly we all now share a special bond from this morning on the beach. When we see each other in the med school the light returns to us for an instant.


Reminding each student as  Liana reminded me, "nothing is right or wrong here today- do what comes naturally to you."










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