I have to take a written test this Sunday. On yoga. I haven't taken a test in four years since college! I've been making stacks and stacks of flashcards. Unfortunately, as I was an art studio major in college, I enjoy drawing a lot more than actually studying or taking notes. My cards are pretty though! So that has been my week. Making flashcards, practice teaching yoga, actually doing yoga. Not a bad life!
Guest post from my sister, Christine, whom you all met yesterday...
"I am not a chair," I thought last Sunday during my weekly walk up a major avenue at night. I breathed. It was the first relief from all of the general anxiety that had led me to take this walk in the first place. I was about to start my first full week at my internship, and a million thoughts were pulsing through my head, "Does this mean I'm staying in NY? I'll need to find an apartment. And a second job to rent that apartment." And then the thought hit me, just as "I am not a chair," "I am not the city that I live in," "I am not the job I work."
In yoga class the day before, when we went into Warrior 1, the teacher David said in his usual deadpan voice, "I hate to break it to you, but you are not a warrior." I chuckled, and sighed an audible "aaaaw." I really like pretending to be a warrior, especially the warrior in warrior 1, who has just been formed from a strand of hair. (I also really like puffing up my chest during pigeon pose, and imagining myself as a cocky pigeon, chasing after a female pigeon relentlessly.)
While in a forward fold, David said to us, "When I say you are not a 'warrior' or a 'chair,' you say, 'duh.' But what if I say, 'you are not a woman,' 'you are not a 'man,' 'you are not a mother, a father, a daughter, or son.' You may be all of these things at one point in your life, but you are not any of those one things, or even the accumulation of all those things."
My sister (left) and me (right) doing yoga together!
Last week, I read this lovely post on Adult Beginner about prenatal yoga partner poses and it got me thinking. I used to really, really, REALLY hate partner poses in yoga. Touching sweaty strangers is one of the more unpleasant things I imagine doing. This is one of the reasons (out of many) that I refuse to try Bikram; the thought of someone in a humid hot room getting their sweat on me makes me throw up in the back of my mouth a little.
That being said, when I started my yoga teacher training, I learned a few partner poses that I actually quite like. In fact, there are a few that I love! I've found that they can challenge me in different ways and even teach me something about my alignment in the postures. And is touching someone in yoga the worst thing? How does that song go? Reach out and touch somebody's hand....
More on yoga partner poses that I love with photos after the jump!
I love zombies. Zombies books, zombies movies, ZOMBIES! My best friend and roommate also happens to love zombies. Over the six years we have known each other, we have come up with quite an extensive detailed plan for the zombie apocalypse. If the world turned into The Walking Dead tomorrow, you would want to be with us in a survival situation.
So imagine my delight when I found this ZOMBIE YOGA video this morning. What? It's not new to the internet, but it is definitely new to me.
Studio Anya describes its Lila (pronounced “leela”) class as "Inspired by a Hindu concept meaning 'sacred play' &/or 'cosmic dance,' Our Lila class offers both!" It promised to blend yoga, Tai-Chi and modern dance. How could I say no to that? Eager to reprise my blissed-out YogaDance experience from over the weekend, I stopped by Studio Anya before ballet class on Tuesday to get my dance and play on.
I should have suspected that this was not going to be the woo-woo hippie experience that I was looking for when I noticed that there were exercise balls set up next to the barre. By the time I was squeezing that ball between my thighs and pulsing my muscles to blasting pop music, I figured out that I had been tricked into WORKING OUT!
I spend a lot of time explaining to people that Kripalu (the school that I am doing my training through) is not some woo-woo hippie cult. And it really isn't! I like to say that Kripalu is a methodology that can be used for all different kinds of yoga. Yes, it can be gentle and restorative, but it can also kick your ass in classes just as vigorous as any Ashtanga power flow. In fact, I get my ass kicked quite regularly in classes with Jay Karlinski in my teacher training.
That being said, if you had seen me and my fellow teacher trainees on Sunday doing a YogaDance session with the lovely Jurian Hughes...it may have looked a little bit like we were in a woo-woo hippie cult.
Here is a clip from the British comedy Peep Show where Mark (Dave Mitchell) goes to a dance flow class to give you an idea about how someone might feel about YogaDance. To give you some context here is how Mark feels about dancing: "Dancing? Yes, dancing, I love dancing....Because it makes me look like a coma victim being stood up and zapped with a cattle prod." ETA: The following clips are kind of NSFW. Headphones!
But actually, YogaDance is an incredible experience. More on it after the jump.
Hello dear readers (as in the three people that read this),
You may have noticed my lack of posting recently. Well, was due do a number of factors. First of all, I am no longer funemployed. Which is great because I have money for things now, but also sucks because I have no time for things now. I am also doing my yoga teacher training through http://kripalu.org/. It is the first year they are doing a YTT in New York. It has been such an intense, amazing experience. I "graduate" from the program in June and will be a CERTIFIED YOGA TEACHER! I am also wrapping up a six week beginner ballet workshop next week.
I will be blogging about all of this again soon, stay tuned!
I took my boyfriend, sister and best friend/roommate to see ABT's Giselle this Saturday. It was incredible and we all enjoyed it (or so they told me afterwards). We saw it with Diana Vishneva in the title role. You can read a glowing review of her in this New York Times article, which also includes a discussion of the other two dancers doing the role this season (Natalia Osipova and Alina Cojocaru). You can also read my sister's take on her experience at her blog. I completely agree with all of the sentiments about how Vishneva is incredible, amazing, etc. In fact, I do think she is one of my favorite dancers of all time. However, I was also blown away by Polina Semionova as Myrtha, Queen of the Willis, which are these vengeful lady virgin ghosts. I was captivated from the moment she bouréed across the stage in her entrance in Act 2. She just seemed to glide effortlessly. The corps did a very good job too!
Sadly, I could not find a video of Semionova dancing the Myrtha role, but below is a video of her dancing as Giselle in the pas de deux with Albrecht at the end. Also, an additional video of Myrtha and the Willis from a 1983 performance at the Kirov after the jump!