3 1/2 weeks down, 6 1/2 to go…..

Practice Notes
by David Nelson

I have hesitated to start this blog post, because I was afraid if I failed at this endeavor, someone out there in web-land would think I’m not a good yogi.  Ironic, really, because I learned long ago that the best teachers are willing to be vulnerable and share their life experiences.  So here I go.  I made a commitment to take the Ashtanga teacher training because I wanted to make some changes in my life patterns, and in my yoga practice, which was stagnating.  I needed to take a break from teaching and this was a perfect excuse.

Of course I had other reasons.  I wanted to learn from a serious teacher and I wanted to recapture the Primary Series, which has been an old friend to me.

So on a Sunday morning in late April I and 14 other students started practicing together 70-some poses in the same order six days a week.  We will complete our program at the end of June.

My first experience around this process was that of fear that at 54, the Primary Series would wipe me out and prove that I am, well, old.  I’m happy to report that it has been a life affirming and yoga affirming experience.  I did what I could the first day, and I was stiff and sore the next, but I did it again.  Then I was able to do a little more the next day.  Now, at 3 1/2 weeks into the training, I’m able to say that I am seeing real progress in my practice, and I’m starting to see some positive changes in my body.

To accomodate the training, I had to make a few positive changes in my life.  I’m now getting up at 5 am and leaving the house by 6 am for a 3 mile bike ride to my yoga class at the Garden.  This may sound brutal to some, but I have to tell you that this is some of the best time of my day.  Today, as I was riding through the Presidio, I watched the sun rising over the Berkeley Hills, the birds were all sooooooo happily singing, and I was working up a sweat.  Not long ago, I could have found all of this irritating, but I also went to bed at 9 pm last night, so I was really having a good time.

So, over the fear, into the practice, getting better by the day, going to bed early and getting up early, maintaining a relatively good disposition. Not bad for the first 3 1/2 weeks.  I guess I’m not such a bad yogi afterall.

More on this soon.  In the meantime, feel free to join us 7 am Monday-Friday and Sunday 8:30 am on the top floor (Air Studio). Normal tuition/passes/memberships. Also, let me know what you think of this line of discourse, by leaving your comments.