Monthly Archives: September 2009

The Embodied Movement: a stroke of insight

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Sonic Ashtanga- Fly with Us

On teaching yoga

posted by danbean

Like so many before me I decided to take a yoga teacher training, to sustain and lengthen the obsession. Some take trainings to deepen their practice and understanding. I think it’s safe to say that fewer teach.

But as someone with somewhat of a flair for public speaking, or at least plenty of experience, it seemed like a logical next step. As a freelancer, after all, diversity is helpful. Unless your freelance work is incredibly consistent and pays a bundle, a diverse pool of work sources becomes near necessity.

On the outside I thought perhaps the therapeutic work that some of my teachers do with yoga might be a long-term destination for me. Of course like many disciplines the only path to such advanced teaching is through it; one has to teach and study for years and experience firsthand what does and does not work.

The training itself is a lengthy discussion for another time; the demanding work both written and physical, the long hours, the comraderie and of course the not-so-minor injury… I could go on endlessly.

But once you are done it’s like… um…

It’s the other side of the looking glass in that room, man, when you are teaching.

Doesn’t always seem like a big deal but all of a sudden you have a bunch of mysterious bodies in front of you that are just brimming with samskara. Who the hell are these people coming to the studio and what the hell can I do for them?

Like other disciplines the beginners are often the most receptive. Tell them to lift an arm and it goes up! Like other disciplines the students who perceive themselves as experienced can be worse to teach because they already know how to practice and just use your class as a framework to get their prana on.  Yes I’m being sarcastic because for all their perceived know-how most students know a lot less then they often believe they do.   Regardless of how many times one has taken parsvakonasana there are still endless variables.  A truly seasoned practitioner would know this and of course respect the teacher.

And so it was that the newbies suffered through baddha konasana but the slim dancer in the back had to prove she could take the forward bend though the instruction was to sit up straight.   If you are someone who has received a tongue lashing for collapsed arches or one miscounted breath in the Primary Series then like me you are conditioned to the holiness of details, the essence of the yoga practice for me.  So as a teacher one might be limited to how much you can direct those dropping in to class, it makes me curious about the dynamic I want to create.   Being a hardass is perhaps the most unnatural thing for me.  And yet I see how it could be helpful.

In beginning to teach yoga, it’s hard to know exactly what I know and what I don’t know.  Time will tell.  Seems like the only way to grow is to get banged up a little, so here goes…

Yoga Around the Web

Over at the yoga blog, “it’s all yoga, baby”, there’s a fun little discussion about yoga:  tradition, evolution, the west, and all the rest… “Yoga’s constant state of evolution”.

Slate made a little video (or someone who is sponsored by Slate, or whatever) chronicling the secret, dirty, underworld that is teaching yoga (in NYC).  Wish they would dig a little deeper past sexual indiscretion and personal hygiene issues.  How about business ethics and practices, for instance?  In any case, thanks for putting this out there…Watch at “Linda’s Yoga Journey”.

…guess that is it.




posted by ebeans

Vice is one of those free publications that one finds once in a while on a doorstep and it is magic.  Crazy, wild, kind of funny and kind of mean, Vice Magazine is a Vice.  An old copy resurfaced during some end-of-the-season cleaning, and as I re-read a couple of articles that only received a cursory glance before, I noticed that Vice has got a “TV” thing going on.  VBS.TV

My intention was to watch a documentary about forensic anthropology, but upon entering the site was immediately drawn into “Hamilton’s Pharmacopeia”.  Remember the “Nice, Thick, Uncut 12-Inch Shroom”? Yes, the very same (Hamilton).

The Sapo Diaries 1 of 3 – Episode 1 of 3

“There is an Amazonian frog called Phyllomedusa Bicolor or the Sapo which I have been reading about for years. It is totally different from the psychedelic toads found in North America. The Sapo’s venom produces an effect much closer to morphine than LSD, but really it’s not like either of those things. It’s a distinctly vomitous dissociative experience unlike anything else I’ve ever encountered.

There has been a lot written about the chemistry of the venom, and it has been said to have a diverse array of effects. Some people think it’s a miracle opioid which will yield…”  more

Back to school (in Ashtanga City, NY)

Looking for a Mysore or Led Ashtanga class in New York City?  Look no further.

Mysore classes in New York

Led classes in New York


Back in August we leaked the news about the Great Debate between the meat-eating Sadie Nardini and the veggie-loving Sharon Gannon. After a delay in plans, our sources now tell us that theses yoginis will take their corners on October 8th at 12 noon (EDT) via The Huffington Post. More details to follow soon…