“Mindfulness” (period)~ Emmy Cleaves

Hello hi hi!!

Whew, where to start where to start. I just got back from Austin, Tx, where I was attending the Bikram Yoga Women’s Retreat as well as judging the Texas Regional yoga competition. I am sure I have written on here somewhere how much I love the city of Austin. I always knew I wanted to go to Texas, I didn’t know what was drawing me there but I always knew I had to visit. I found Austin and have since named it as one of my favourite places I’ve visited! So, I was so happy to be back in Austin even if only for a few days.

At the women’s retreat, we got to take class from Rajashree (bikram’s wife) as well as from Emmy (the principal of Bikram’s school…and his long time friend and yoga teacher). Over the years I have probably learned the most tidbits of posture information from Emmy. I always learn a few great amazing things when I take her class, so I always feel so fortunate when I get to spend time with her. This was a special circumstance event as well because she was around for discussion, posture clinic, meals, etc, so there was so much invaluable time with her. I won’t get into all the details of the weekend, you’d be bored and I’d be here writing all night!!….but I will tell you this: Karma is ALWAYS a circle, so what goes around, comes around…if you know what I mean…

On Saturday I was asked to be a demonstrator for the advanced class we did. This meant that I, as well as another woman and amazing yogi I know, were to do the class on the podium with Emmy. No problem, I’ve done it before for Bikram as well as have done advanced demonstration at the teacher trainings, so I was happy to do it…knowing full well it meant Emmy would be beside me for 2 hours and was bound to find at least a few things to correct!! Of course, I was so looking forward to it…I needed a tune up! 😉 I learned a couple of gems, a few things I didn’t know and was able to ask a few questions about postures which I had been wondering about. All in all a great great practice.

So, then on Sunday I was to ensure Emmy got back to her room, got lunch, and made it to the competition. So, I put my mat right up at the front, beside the podium, so I would be there for her when the class finished. Emmy has, presumably, taught for her whole career from a chair at the back of the room. She usually walks around, very stealthily, during the floor series if she is spotting some things she doesn’t like, and then has a seat for the floor series. This day, this Sunday morning in Austin, Texas, Emmy taught the ENTIRE class from the podium! Yup, she stayed up close the whole time…and once her eyes spotted me in my set in my ways (?) practice, she was all over me like a dirty shirt (is that even a saying??!!). I got some much needed help with a few of my postures (in addition to the corrections in the advanced class), and chalk it up to my karma of the extra attention I’ve been known to give when I’m teaching ;).

So, this now brings me back to the topic….Mindfulness. (Period). Emmy said a few good gems this past weekend, I can only hope to remember them as I am living my life…but the one that stuck with me, the simplest and yet perhaps the most challenging thing…Mindfulness. (Period). She talked about mindfulness as being the most important element of any yoga practice…the ability to try and not give up as well as know when to sit down or take it easy…

Well my loves, it’s time for bed. I taught a double yesterday, a double today and teach another double tomorrow…SIX classes in THREE days….I am not sure when the last time I taught so many classes in a row was!! It’s fun but at the same time, it’s a lot of energy to give…so time for me to rest up for tomorrow. It makes me think of another blog post…about yoga and the gas station…but that’s going to have to wait… 😉

Love you,
Ida

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