The Path To Bodhichitta

You start where you are, the practice will meet you there.

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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Anatomy of Passion

Last weekend, I walked across the KLPAC lawn with a hammering heart for the Functional Anatomy and Yoga Physiology Weekend workshop. It was the first workshop I would be attending since returning from my teacher's training three years ago. Yes, there were many raised eyebrows at this admission.

The Thinker sent me off with these words, "I hope you don't just learn a lot, but also remember why you love this so much."

Studio 5 was a hive of activity. Two women and a man were assembling a skeleton, old friends were catching up and new friends were being made. Outside the huge windows, dusk was beginning to settle. The workshop began within ten minutes with Michelle Lam, a physiotherapist from Hong Kong, passing out the workbooks. I flipped open mine, scanned the contents and felt my heart perform an breakdance of joy. This. Was. It.

Michelle took us through the anatomical terms, then instructed us to pair up and called one person from each pair to the front. Ong, my Pilates partner, had never done yoga before and pleaded for me to go up. We stood in a line and as Michelle called out anatomical instructions, we fumbled to contort our bodies into the pose that she had mind. Only one of us figured out it was Warrior II. The rest of us, yours truly included, were twisted in poses that would have baffled even Iyengar himself. Once the laughter died down, Michelle called up the other partners and whispered the pose into which she wanted themn to guide us. Once again, laughter erupted in the class as people arranged their limbs in the oddest positions.

I left that evening's class almost drunk with happiness. Walking back across the lawn clutching my books, I wished that I was a student all over again.

The next two days were full and grueling. Michelle taught us muscle mapping, the characteristics of the spinal vertebrates, and understanding the knee complex, hip joint, shoulder, pelvic girdle, respiratory and digestive systems. Armed with coloured pens, we drew on each other's bodies, outlining the bones, feeling the structure and studying the movement. By the end of the day our knees, spine and shoulders were a beautiful mess of coloured squiggles.

To help us study asanas anatomically, Michelle asked us to demonstrate a few and then chose two people for each - one who moved easily into the pose and another who struggled. This was when I found out that my Triangle is not as 'pretty' as I thought it was! And neither is my Downward Dog. :(

Lunch on the second day was with four new friends, all of whom said the right words to further fan the growing fire within me. They were encouraging, but wise and their words have lingered until today.

The workshop was intensive and I will probably need a refresher for everything to properly sink in. But for now, I thoroughly loved being taken to a deeper level of understanding yoga. The biggest reward was in Gary's class the next day when I realised that I understood and performed the asanas in a different way. And for now, this is enough.

Because by the time the workshop ended that Sunday evening, I had learnt a lot and remembered exactly why I love this so much.


Blogger reviveramesh said...

nice story here!

9:02 PM  

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