This past weekend, I had the good fortune of studying with Jason Crandell at Moksha Yoga Chicago. I first became familiar with him last year when I embarked on a Yoga Journal 21 Day Challenge. They had a variety of different instructors, but I always particularly enjoyed his online classes. He seemed very no-nonsense and accessible. I was more than happy to find out that he’s a really great teacher in person, as well. He’s got a great sense of humor and I definitely learned some invaluable arm balance tips (it was an arm balance workshop.)
Jason first started out with a story about how with all of his traveling to different countries, he decided he wanted to learn different languages, German, Japanese, Spanish, etc…Then, he realized that he actually didn’t want to LEARN those languages, he wanted to KNOW them. I found that to be very timely with my last post about handstand. I don’t want to learn it, I just want to be standing on my darn hands, already! He stressed that it isn’t the outcome that’s important, but the process leading up to it. Just because we work really hard, doesn’t mean we will always nail an asana, but once we step back, deconstruct, question, and approach it intelligently, we’ll make more progress. Love it.
We then went on to learn four different versions of vasisthasana. Confession, I am no fan of vasisthasana, so again, my ego kicked in as the versions got progressively more difficult and my ability to maintain my balance decreased. Oh well, at least I gave it the ol’ college try! I have a feeling in order to make peace with vasi, I’m going to have to spend a little more time with it. Again, I want to KNOW how to do it and do it flawlessly without having to work at it. Patience, grasshopper…
After we went through the vasisthasana segment, we moved on to bakasana. He told us a great story about how he doesn’t interact with his Facebook page very much, but one of his friends who works at Facebook helped him understand some measurement about what kinds of asana photos people respond most favorably to. More advanced asana didn’t perform terribly well, but bakasana was a winner. The logic behind this is that bakasana at first appears difficult, but is ultimately accessible.
I remember my first yoga class when the teacher demonstrated it for us and I just turned to my friend and, pardon my French, said, “no fucking way.” Lo and behold, a few months later, I was in bakasana and haven’t looked back since.
We learned three different versions, two I nailed, one…not so much, but I did get close! I was quite pleased with the workshop! And, at the end, he again reminded us that it’s more important to focus on the action than the outcome. So, I am going to keep slowly working on my arm balances and skip the stress part of not being perfect.