Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Too Much of a Good Thing and Not Enough of Others....Goodbye Belgian A :(

Today was one of those days that was just all over the map. Lots of fun and laughs but also some hard moments and some tears. First of all, it was my roommate Ann's last day as she is completing the 100 hour course. I'm going to miss her so much. We've grown close in the last 12 days--which I know doesn't sound like very long, but from that bucket of beers on the beach that first day we were fast friends. I'll miss her humour, honesty, and our chats before bed. We have so much in common! I think a trip to Belgium is in my future!
The Two As
 Fish lips seemed like a good idea at the time. This has no connection to yoga by the way,

Our day began at Daily Coffee with the two As, L, and me. A and I sipped lattes and felt virtuous as the Aussie posse sweated over the homework they didn't complete last night!
Tsk task girls! I hope you learned your lesson!!!
Morning coffee with the girls
 We were soon joined by Marita and the rest of our group, and headed to the beach for morning yoga. Marita isn't one to waste a moment, so we experienced our first walking meditation as we trekked along. We breathed in for a count of four, then out for a count of four, matching it to our steps. This went well until we saw a security guard. A few days ago, L laid eyes on a security guard guarding the beachfront home of a politician--and she was quick to notice lots of muscles covered with Kevlar. Since then, we always check to see if he's on duty when we walk or drive by. As we were gliding over the sand in blissful, silent meditation, I heard some whispering up ahead. "Look! It's a security guard! Is it him?" Thankfully Marita didn't hear us, and for the sake of the meditation, it was fortunate that it wasn't THE security guard. L thinks she might just go up and introduce herself someday and of course I'm encouraging her!
Walking meditation. We were mostly focused.
Marita put us through our paces on the sand with standing and abs sequences. The funniest Marita-ism today? We were in boat pose, and she was getting after us for not engaging our large muscles to hold the pose. "Those thighs! They are just hanging there! Use them! Why do you let them eat for free?" We also did group poses in a circle, holding each other up. Great team building and lots of fun! To conclude our asana practice, some of us did floating savasana in partners, then swam and attempted some poses in the water. And of course, the kindergarten teacher in the group made everyone work together to spell yoga with their bodies for a great photo opportunity!

Floating savasana
Lucky that we had fun in the water, as a gruelling two hour asana study was next on the agenda. We sat in a little pavilion overlooking the beach, which was nice, but I think I got way too much of a good thing--sun and I am still feeling the effects. Fortunately Pattie's homework help met with Marita's approval and I barely had to make any changes! I didn't fare as well in my alignment cues and benefits of poses though. And I learned that answering a question from Marita with, "Because the orange book said so" doesn't work so well. This exchange wasn't a big success either...
Marita: And what are the hips doing in this pose?

Me: Nothing really. I think they're just there.

Marita (snorting): Just there? What do you mean, just there?

Me: Just there, doing their thing I guess.

Marita: No body part just "does its thing" in yoga.
I actually think Marita got a kick out of it as she brought it up a number of times. I teased her that she'd start using it as a cue in her own yoga classes. She laughed and said maybe, once she figured out how to say that in Greek.

A cold shower and an afternoon nap did not leave me feeling refreshed--I think I have a bit of heat stroke--and I was not in the best frame of mind to tackle one of the most difficult chakras. The heart chakra is known as anahata and it's all about our relationships with others, ourselves, and conditional and unconditional love. Once again, there were some tears around the table, but there could not be a better group of people to share with. Michelle has a Master's degree in clinical psychology, so she is well-equipped to deal with all of us and our problems!

Michelle went easy on us as we learned the asana sequence for heart chakra. She threw in some restorative yoga poses and our practice was just a little over an hour. It was a really great sequence and I'm excited to teach it to others when I start teaching my own classes :) The shorter class left time for A to receive her certificate for completing 100 hours of Hatha yoga teacher training. Again more tears as we all hugged her and posed for pictures. I thought cocktails were in order after all the emotions of the afternoon. But wait, we're detoxing so sparkling water, orange juice, and lime wedges it was! Leonardo came through with another fantastic meal--eggplant parmigiana, salad, and fresh bread, and everyone sat around and visited for A's last night.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day happened after dinner. D is from France and cultivates quite an air of mystery. No one knows just quite what he does and he never seems to give a straight answer, earning him the nickname 007. Well imagine my surprise when I turned around from writing my blog to see him giving J a tarot card reading on the couch. Turns out he actually does tarot card readings on TV in Asia for celebrities. Who knew?

Well it's my last night with Belgian A, so it's time to enjoy one last cup of tea with her, then get my heat stroked body to bed!

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