But each one has been so good that I’ve forgotten any regrets. How could I think of anything else when Gary Kraftsow —a man with sweet gravitas—is explaining the cakras?
Or, when Roger Cole shows us the four ways to stretch a muscle. It’s more than interesting, it’s riveting. (We did mostly hamstrings, which I’ve overstretched on this body.) Dive deep, bring up pearls.
I’ve also really appreciated the humor here—Judith Hanson Lasater is a firecracker sending hilarious (and too true) comments fizzing and popping around the room faster than a Catherine Wheel. (“I gave up the idea that you could make anyone do anything when I had kids.”)
She seems to instantly read bodies. Then she instantly—with permission—tells (or shows) the owner what’s going on and how to work with it. Trust the body, she says, it’s trying to tell you something. (She was able to tell me something about my stuck left pelvis—a puzzle that’s eluded me for years.)
Also a laugh a minute—who’d have guessed—eminent professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, Robert Thurman. Buddha’s First Noble truth? Life sucks! How to detach yoga students from their obsession with the body? Tell them to watch The Matrix or Star Trek.
Reasons to meditate on happiness for all beings? “If your enemy was happy, do you think he’d be running around enemying on you? You want him to be happy!”
This humor would not resonate as well without presenter’s deep knowledge and abiding passion for their subjects. And, I have to think, their fearlessness in the face of dark or ugly news: we’re all going to die. They seem to get that, as much as anyone can. We humans are infintessimally insignificant.
And their self-driven, but not (seemingly) self-ish desire to know more, be more, grow more, enter more fully into some nourishing mystery seems to help as well.
Thurman: yoga’s true meaning: to yoke yourself to ultimate reality (nirvana, bliss) and unyoke yourself from limited reality (suffering).
The original purpose of asana: to get the body settled for meditation. This is not news. But it was fun to hear it from him. And in case you are wondering, Patanjali agrees with Buddha—life does suck!in Culture and Health.