Friday, October 26, 2007

Todd Norian Workshop 1

Asheville, NC October 26-28

His theme tonight was working with concealing and revealing. That the universe conceals itself in us in order to reveal itself. The huge cosmic game of peek-a-boo. same as a Halloween costume, hiding just for the fun of revealing oneself. The fun is seeing who is underneath. He also talked about life moving in cycles. Everything happens in three cycles as governed, in the Tantric tradition, by the three goddesses: Saraswati - creativity, joy, beginning; Lakshimi - ultimate bliss, climax, height, middle; and Kali - dying away, destruction, ending.
That now in the year we are moving towards winter, towards the Kali time of gathering back in and storing up to then be ready again for Saraswati in the spring. He said even trees do the same... after dropping their leaves, they send all the vital energy and nutrients to the center of the tree and then to the roots to be saved up during winter.
He talked about each of us being the same because we are all just a part of the universe looking at itself.

Practice tonight wasn't too out of control though I am tired. My muscles are sore - especially from Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog) of all things. You never work so hard as when there is a master teacher in your midst. And i'm tired from teaching yesterday and driving today. Mainly i'm noticing i'm not in the shape i was in this summer - so it's back to the mat for me. I particularly want to increase the intensity and duration of my practices.

But, back to Todd. He is SO tiny. That seemed surprising to me, I don't know why. He is short and long and lean and relatively soft spoken. Not quite the charisma of John. But still depth, warmth, and a feeling that he sees you and connects with you. Inspiring in a quieter sort of way - and that gives me hope about bringing my authentic, quiet self to the mat as teacher.

He taught two interesting bits i hadn't seen before. First was "full moon" which i thought would be holding the foot in Ardha Chandrasana, but not so. for Full moon he had us come into half-moon then extend the top arm over the ear and the bottom arm paralell to it. sort of a sideways virabradhasana III. Challenging!!! The second was supta virasana with a partner. First the assisting partner inner spiraled the top of the thighs. Then we came up to the face and did downward facing dog with them holding our ankles and we inner spiraled their thighs while we stretched their arms back. It was a little awkward to give the adjustment, but it felt nice to receive it.
So today i felt a little 'Blah'. probably from so many hours in the car. Tomorrow i'd like to drop the ego down quite a bit and approach the day and the practices as a raw beginner. That is the best place to be coming from. Then i'm open, receptive, and ready to learn from Todd, from the other students, and from myself.

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