This is a really old post that i just didn't get around to publishing till now...
June 12, workshops with Anusara teacher Desirée Rumbaugh- 2-hour all-level class.
Desirée started the class with a discussion on worries- and how for the class we could chose to let them go and be present. She said how gas prices are still going to be high, our country will still be at war, we will still die someday after this practice- so worrying about all that during the class won’t do us any good at all.
During the warm-ups she talked about how Anusara practitioners are know as the yogis who are all about opening the heart. It’s a great focus, but in Anusara we often jump straight to that too quickly. Before opening the heart we have to connect to something bigger- and we can act this out physically by drawing the front body to the back body, puffing out the back and bowing slightly. From there we have created the space and openness and engagement of the core and we can open our hearts even more.
This was the theme- connecting to something bigger and coming into our core. We started with warm ups and then went straight into abdominal work where she step by step teaching us to fully engage by puffing the back and scooping the tailbone. Then we went into some standing poses, but went up by puffing and scoping first. Then we went to a totally different child’s pose- I have NEVER WORKED THIS HARD in child! We scooped the tailbone strongly to the heels, almost slouching back a bit and then curled forward, hugging in the abdominals to the back body and keeping the ribs in the entire time.
Then we went to Crow, which the used me to demo, then twisted child and shoulder stand. This was a different sequence, particularly having the ab work some early in the class, but it was really effective in conveying the actions of the theme. Desirée beautifully and seamlessly went from one posture to the next- postures worked to step by step teach us the principles we were working on.
I felt physically and mentally challenged in a positive way. Spiritually, I had a complete breakthrough. I’ve had other teachers introduce the idea of the back body symbolizing the universal and the front the individual, but I’ve never had someone take it to the extreme the way that Desirée did through the practice- and it finally clicked for me. I had a major realization that I’ve been relying primarily on my individual self and through some difficult experiences in the past several years have lost trust that something bigger (God, the Divine, the Universe) is supporting me. What I learned was that when I come into the back body, hugging the front body in and engaging the core I have so much more power in poses. I learned that connecting with the universal gives me even more power and strength as an individual. Throughout the workshop I felt enthusiastic and awed. And at the end I hugged my friend and teacher Kara and just started crying. I was so joyful and grateful.