Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Focus

When I was practicing in my 20s and early 30s I always had a summer focus.  In those days I was a graduate student and a mother of young children and a beginning yoga teacher and most of the time it was all I could do to keep any type of practice going at all let alone delving into it and focusing.  My then-husband and I always had our "hot date" with our yoga teacher once a week but apart from that I would sneak in practices with my babies crawling all over me, or at lunch in an empty dance studio or at the crack of dawn with absolutely no energy just a knowledge that if I didn't do something my back, neck and shoulders would start to seize.

But then there were the summers.  I could travel, do workshops, and mostly - most delightfully - get hot.   I had backbend summers, inversion summers, summers of balances and twists and flip flops.  We had summers of practicing by the river and on New Hampshire docks.  We had the occasional Australian summer that backed onto the US summers so that I could squeeze in yet another focus.  And then once I'd move to Qatar I had my run away summers - summers in Mysore, in Ibiza, in New York.  Of course for so much of all of that the focus was not only the particular group of poses and the benefits of a particular location’s type of heat but the fun of it all.  Having time to do yoga and focus on whatever I wanted was, above everything else, fun.   It is only now that I am in my mid 40s and I have to temper that fun with a little more care that the focus of summer is also reflection.

In a great blog that I was reading last night (Shivers up the Spine - see my side bar) they referenced the necessity of Yogis being philosophers.  "The sign of a true yogi is not how flexible their bodies are, but rather how willing they are to be philosophical about personhood, and critical of their own prejudices...." So to help us all, most especially me, with an additional type of focus I have added a bunch of blogs to my blogs– blogs that do a great job of exploring the place of yoga in popular culture, of examining subtle aspects of the practice and philosophy and history of yoga and of keeping it all fun.  In my practice and teaching I plan to have a Hip Summer and to focus on the hips and the release of pent up emotions often associated with them – but beyond the fun and the tapas is the reflection.  I hope that you will join me and share resources that you have found as well.

Enjoy your summer focus.  Namaste

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