I was lucky to participate in Caragh's three-hour Vinyasa Workshop at her studio today. Caragh was inspired by a workshop she attended with Shiva Rea in California this past summer (see a sample of Shiva's graceful and fluid movement in the video below). I hadn't been to an interesting workshop and challenging class since I moved to Ireland 3.5 months ago, so this was really refreshing!
She started off by explaining the essence of Vinyasa..the flow of breath (prana) linked with movement and asked the participants to share instances of "flow" in our own lives. Some people felt in the flow when cleaning, or spending time with their children...others noted dancing or writing. It was good to share and participate in the conversation. Caragh also asked us to write down how we felt today in a stream of consciousness. We were then asked to create a phrase out of the words and share them out loud with the group. My phrase was something like: "I am a bit sleepy and tired today but eager to learn and to start moving my body..and use my breath to connect with the spirit and energy of others." (Note: It's always good to check in and be aware of how you feel before a class). She then gave us a colorful handout with clear pictures of the asanas and sequencing for our physical practice. After our little discussion, we started to move. The practice began with chanting OM to movement with prana. What was "new" to me was the pulsating movement....I enjoyed the "building" of the asanas to a peak pose of bakasana (crow pose) variations. The progression of the poses and the grace, fluidity and elegance of the movement was also lovely. (I didn't exhibit all these qualities at all times, but I tried!!) We all ended with a very enjoyable and cozy reclining svavasana while Caragh led us through some visualization and relaxation exercises and read some inspiring words about the breath. I loved it! And, I must have picked up something from the workshop, because later on today I taught my regular Sunday afternoon class...and one of my students commented that my class "had a nice flow to it.." :)
Blessings and Namaste,