Thursday, April 29, 2010

Interview with a champ; posture clinic (I guess?)

A former teacher of mine won the big yoga competition (yeah, yeah, save it) in February. I wasn't as close with her as I was with most of the other teachers, but I was always inspired by her "kill them with kindness" approach to teaching classes. On the occasions I was lucky enough to practice next to her in class, I'd sneak glances over and usually think one of two things:
1) How can you practice while wearing a tube top?

So, here's a funny, but telling, interview with Brandy Winfield (thanks to Anna for the tweet).

Interview here
"I got done with [my first] class and I called [my mom] and asked, 'Are you mad at me? Why would you make me do something as terrible as that. That was the worst thing. Do you know it smells in there?' "

(In which I use "I" more than ever, possibly:)
So, last weekend I went to a posture clinic at my studio. I'd never been to one before. It wasn't what I expected. I know, I know, no expectations, but the whole reason I went was because I was expecting to have a particular experience. It had been my understanding that in a posture clinic, experienced teachers talk through the series of postures with a group of students. People can ask questions and get individualized help. And my experience included all of that, but it also felt like something was missing.

The seminar was scheduled from 1 to 3, which didn't allow for much time. The studio owner picked about 10 postures to focus on, the most-often misunderstood ones, which seemed to make sense to me. We got as far as standing head to knee (after skipping the planned review of awkward pose because of time constraints) before things kind of went off-track, I think. At that point, all the students stood up to work on it. Each of the six teachers there helped groups of two or three students.

And then, very quickly, it was 2:45 and students for the 3 o'clock class were getting restless in the lobby. I was slightly bummed out, as I expected (there's that word again) to learn "tricks," I guess; to learn ways to go more deeply into my postures. Specifically, I wanted to learn what I can do in several postures (pranayama, eagle, floor bow, anything really) to open up my shoulders and upper back. I didn't get that... When I did ask about my misaligned hips, I was basically told, "Yep, they're off. Don't worry about it. Just keep practicing."

So. I guess I need to learn to just trust the process, as they say incessantly at teacher training? That's great and all, but I am a do-something-about-it-oriented person. If we're all just supposed to trust the process, why bother with a posture clinic? I look forward, though, to the next one. It would be nice if it were several hours longer.

So: Have you participated in posture clinics or seminars (not just Bikram-style yoga, any kind)? How were they structured? What did you hope to learn? What did you actually learn? More thoughts?


  1. Hey,
    Thanks for the link! I have never gone to a posture clinic or seminar, but I'm going to one next month with Esak Garcia. His goes from 11-4:00, so hopefully we'll get more one-on-one time.

    No offense to your studio, but it sounds like yours wasn't run very well. You already knew to keep practicing, right? ;-) Of course, two hours isn't that long! Hard to cover even ten postures, I'd imagine.

  2. Yeah, that is what it's supposed to be, and 2 hours is not long enough to do it. Was it given by someone on the seminar list?