He slimmed down significantly. His skin tone and overall luster energetically started to glow.
Congratulations, Eric. You've worked hard, your adhikara (studentship) rocks, your devotion is appreciated, your service to the greater good and the kula is our greatest blessing, and your presence is an inspiration! Keep on evolving!
My first Anusara Yoga class was also one of my first yoga classes. It was a workshop with Amy on Martha’s Vineyard in 2006. I was pretty clueless and had to watch other students to have any idea what the poses were. I felt awkward and clumsy but something clicked and I knew that this was something I wanted more of.
What really attracted me was the sense of welcome I felt. Folks asked :“How are you?” and I sensed that they actually cared about the answer. The quality and depth of my every conversation and interaction improved; as did my sense of connection to my heart and the community.
The Fall of 2008 was calamitous. The economic collapse caused me significant dislocation and demanded reappraisal of what I had held as precious. My marriage seemed irreparable, and there was the passing of loved ones. I arrived in Umbria raw and grieving. The kula was a lifeline and I felt like a drowning man. The kula took care of me with loving support, acceptance and hugs.In Umbria Amy spoke about the Immersion as the next step for those who wanted to deepen their understanding of the Anusara philosophy and system of alignment. I felt ill prepared for such a big step but I hungered for it.
I asked Amy: What would I have to do to be ready for the Immersion?
I expected a checklist: Practice 10 hours a week. Kick up into handstand at the wall. Urdva with straight arms… etc.
The answer that Amy gave was: It is just a breath away.
I could no more refuse her invitation than I could stop my own breath. I returned home and amped up my class schedule, trying to get prepare. The Immersion proved to be more than I could have hoped for. Here were people who had chosen the same path I had. My sense and appreciation of the kula deepened and enriched me. The authenticity of the connection among us was profound and powerful. It inspired confidence and effort. I found that by trusting my teacher and living and breathing my commitment that the boundaries of my asana practice were expanding. Asana also became more playful. Even falling out of a pose became an occasion for laughter and joy.
One of the things I have experienced along the way is that progress is seldom linear and it can be frustrating to me when I think that I am about to finally “get it” and then “it” decides to dance out of my reach. I often feel as if I am actually going backwards. This is the time to take a “step towards the teacher”. Sometimes that teacher is the universal principles of alignment, sometimes the asana teacher standing in front of you at the studio and sometimes it is the teacher that is in each of our hearts. In all cases taking a step towards the teacher results in the teacher taking two steps towards you.
It sounds mundane; but the commitment to scheduling chunks of time for yogic exploration and restoration is an affirmation that this is the path I have chosen and this is the path that I am on. Even the act of marking my calendar with a future event is making an important choice that renews my commitment to my practice and to ordering the rest of my life so that it is in support of that practice. Then, when challenges come, I look at the calendar and think: Well, this month may be a bit of a bumpy road, but the middle of next month I get to be in the company of some amazing beings and then the Shakti will really pulse!
I have immense gratitude that I stumbled in to Anusara. I am also deeply grateful for the teachings of John Friend, Douglas Brooks, Amy, and all of my other teachers and I am grateful for the support of the kula. May it continue to expand and enfold.