Thursday, November 03, 2005

an onslaught from the past

Yoga? yeah, I practiced this morning and it was a good one. nuff said.

Teaching last night was phenomenal! My 6:30 was pretty much a full house with a couple of brand new to yoga people. I love it when people come to the mat for the first time. It's exhilarating! When I was at the Hindu temple in Troy a few months ago I caught a part of the children's program. There was an older woman on stage explaining to the children why they needed to treat everyone with respect. She explained that the person sitting next to them could be the incarnation of a deva or a teacher of theirs from a previous life. When I have a new student I try to treat them with the same respect that I would give a guru or a master for this very reason. They have been drawn to yoga and due to this they most likely have practiced yoga in another incarnation. This approach keeps respect present and sincere for all of my students. They are my teachers.

My 8:00 class was brilliant. We began with chanting to balance the chakras, then went into a light asana practice. We then moved into savasana. I pulled blankets over them and did a 5 minute reiki "wash" for each of them. Afterwards I shared some observations from my recent shamanistic excursion with a few of them.

A great way to spend an evening to be sure.

Other topics?

It the past two weeks I have been contacted by a number of people from my past. The high point of this came yesterday when I finally got in touch with one of my best friends from High School. We had been playing phone tag for the past week. It is amazing how so many aspects change, but the voice remains the same. His voice was amazingly similar to the one he had when we were 18. The same intonations and the same speech patterns.

I'm drawn into a mental dialog here about the ego in relation to the voice as opposed to other physical aspects of homo sapiens, but I'll resist that tangent for the moment.

Returning the cell phone reunion, it was great to hear from him. I've been thinking quite a bit about the "old days" since I returned to Michigan from my stint in the west. In particular I've been thinking about Rick since I began my soulseek excursions. I've been frantically downloading music and a large chunk of the downloads are from those high school days. Rick and I used to spend large amounts of cash each week on vinyl. We'd find ourselves sitting in one of our rooms listening to whatever it was we picked up that week. It was a ritual of sorts. The needle would hit the vinyl and we would sit for hours just listening to the sounds that filled the room.

There is a line in a Smog song (It's Rough) off Wild Love that always sends me back to those days:

At times I lock myself up in my room
Don't come over
While I listen to a record
I stare at the cover

Yeah, "when I listen to a record I stare at the cover." CDs really killed that equasion. We were into the whole 4AD scene: Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil, etc. There were also addictions to The The, Felt, and The Chameleons. We'd also listen to bands we loved to hate like The Smiths and The Cure, bands that were slowly succumbing to fame as their talents waxed and waned.

They were simple days when, at least for me, women were abstract notions that caused stomach aches. There was a bit of boozing. Smoking and coffee were mandatory. Of course those simple days got more convoluted as we moved onto college and I ventured into a long term relationship. But even that was simple compared to the early 90's when I dove deep into the wonder of the occult underground and all of its nefarious joys.

Whew... had to pull myself out of that nose dive into nostalgia. It gets you thinking though... In hindsight, I wouldn't change a thing. As Grendel says, "I never killed the queen." Sure, there was a ton of blood, sex and death but for the most part we all walked away unscathed. Only a few were lost to death and madness. I was and remain lost to both. :)

Of course, I should state for the record that Rick was a part of those simple days mentioned above, before the fall. Good times to be sure. I'm glad to be back in touch with him. Apparently he is going to be in Michigan in a couple of weeks and we'll get together and catch up in the flesh.

4 comments:

idoru said...

Hey there, I also used to be into Felt and The Chameleons. Actually I'm still into the Chameleons.
D

jody said...

hey there do you teach half primary or the entire series?

Gregg Newsom said...

Jody, I don't teach Ashtanga. The closest I get is what they call an Ashtanga / Vinyasa Blend class where I pull together various asana that tend to keep with the flow (standing, side work, balancing, seated, folds twists, etc.) of the primary series.

I've got to say that I am intimidated by the thought of teaching Ashtanga. I just don’t feel right teaching something that I’m still trying to wrap my head and body around. That being said, I have offered to sub for a friend that teaches a short form class. When and if I do end up subbing for her I will not take the students past the point where I am currently stopping. I think that a teacher should be able to perform and have intimate knowledge of the asana he or she is teaching. I’m not there with the primary series beyond Supta K. (My teacher would probably say that I’m not there with any of it!)

I don't know. Simply put I love the healing aspects and ideas behind Ashtanga and I think that teaching it haphazardly would be detrimental for my practice and my students.

I will not to offend anyone here. This is simply my take on the subject.

jody said...

Gregg I completely agree with you, I couldnt imagine teaching beyond where I am at in the practice which incidentally is exactly where your at.
I dont teach nor do I plan on it at least not in the next five years or so. Good luck in Mysore!!