There are many qualified teachers in the Ashtanga system and I happened to find myself in the company of Boulder’s finest. Here is what the website says about them, “Located in the heart of downtown Boulder, the Yoga Workshop, which was established in 1987, is the one of the oldest and most well established Ashtanga yoga studios in the United States.” I also thought I saw something about it being unassuming and welcoming and so peaceful but perhaps that is my spin on it.
Being from the East Coast I certainly had to adapt. Anyone who has taken a class with Richard or studied with him can understand the concept. I tried to soften enough to fit in, slow it down, enjoy the time there and my practice. Although Richard was not present you could certainly feel his prescence. The first time I met Richard I was so excited to practice. Little did I know what I would be in for. On the first inhale I was out of breath long before him and I realized then that he would be different and that his focus was different. At the time, I did not have the patience nor the experience with the practice as I bring today. So looking back I have to laugh at my immature thoughts of what he was trying to teach us. I knew little of bandhas and breath in the beginning and had enough strength to “just do it” if you know what I mean.
Since my first meeting with Richard, I have attended workshops and classes and have worked to understand his teachings and methods. Putting them into practice is not easy. Things are different but things are the same. I know the sequence, I teach the sequence, I’m working on what I need to work on and meeting myself there. So in this room of practitioners who float, fly and bend (well some anyway), there are also those who are new to the practice, new to the system, stiff and unable to bind, bend or balance. They used the wall, props and had really little assistance to “get into” the asanas. They came to practice what they need to work on and seemed to be meeting themselves there.
I’m grateful to be able to find places to practice the method like the original in Boulder and to also be a holder of a space, a shala, a studio in Montclair, NJ where people can come and meet themselves on the mat and am honored to be holding the space for them to do just that. I love being a student of the system always and passing on the knowledge that I learn from being a student.