This past weekend, Betsey Downing, Ph.D., came to Columbia for an entire weekend of yoga, pranayama, and meditation. She was absolutely wonderful! I hadn't participated in an entire workshop previously, however I am so grateful that I signed up for the whole weekend.
It began on Friday evening with standing poses and discussing our true greatness. I practiced next to BC and had an absolute blast. He can make even the most challenging pose full of fun and ease. Betsey explained to us that we are inherently great inside and we use our asana to express that greatness. We do not improve our asana to improve our greatness--that is impossible. We ended with Vasistasana, which is incredibly difficult for me but it was still fun and a wonderful experience.
Saturday morning was handstands. Since I've been doing handstands since I was about 4, they are generally fairly easy for me, although I do have trouble balancing. But it was great fun focusing on different aspects of the pose. The afternoon session was dedicated to seated forward bends and pranayama and meditation. It was really cool how quiet the room was during the seated forward bends. Earlier in the day, when practicing handstands, the room was loud with conversation, laughter and interaction. Betsey explained that this polarity is due to the fact that in the morning we were working on our front body--expanding through the chest and heart which is linked to our individuality and creativity. In the afternoon, seated forward bends emphasize the back body--which connects us to the universal and creates contemplation. Very interesting dynamic.
The pranayama and meditation was fantastic. We did about four or five breathing techniques which was fine. Developing a cold, it was rather hard to do alternate nostril breathing. However, it was incredibly relaxing and really enabled me to settle my mind down. I am rarely able to quiet my mind enough to really connect with the bigger picture, so I was grateful for the time to relax and just be.
Sunday was backbend extraordinaire! It was a great way to end the weekend. Betsey talked about cocooning today. How sometimes when we cocoon ourselves away from the world we are morphing into something more beautiful. A caterpillar must cocoon in order to become the butterfly.
I feel as if I am cocooning away. I don't know why really, but I feel it happening. I am not unhappy nor do I feel as if I am missing out on anything. I don't necessarily want it to continue, but how do I re-connect?
The weekend was fabulous. It helped me open my eyes to life's greatest gifts and enabled me to explore my edges and play with them.