Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dropping back is fun with Jill

I was quite excited for Jill's workshop on Saturday, as I arrived around 12:40 for the 2 PM start... oops - I thought it started at 1 PM.  So, I found a wonderful local coffee house, Infusion, and had a delicious soy milk latte - MMM.  Definitely recommend a visit, even if you're like me, and you have to drive on Lincoln Dr. to get there.   I'm really not fond of this road; if you drive 25 mph - the speed limit - you are getting passed every second by people driving 30-35-40+ mph.  Phew.  

Nevertheless, the efforts were all worth it.  Jill set up the workshop with some harmonious (pun* not intended, but...) chanting, and then gave us 1% theory, leading to 99% practice.   She wove her theory eloquently in to the practice, and guided us skillfully through many sun salutations and standing poses, all containing the "drop-back" essence.  As she suggested, we not only prepared to drop-back, but we dropped our shoulders, dropped our jaws, dropped our expectations, etc.  "Dropping" can be quite a positive experience.  Don't think about it too much.  

It felt as though every participant was fully Present, and as the collective breathing deepened, hearts opened (not just through the chest, but through the back, sides - every direction).   

In preparation for dropping back, Jill taught some creative, step-by-step preps, including using the wall in a safe way.  Also, we spent quite a bit of time dropping back from our knees; ie., starting with Ustrasana (Camel).  My guess is that many people had sore quads the next day.  Dropping back is NOT just about having a flexible spine.  As with any asana, a balance of flexibility and strength throughout the body (and mind, and spirit) are essential.  I think everyone really understood this by the time we were actually dropping back.  

Great job, Jill!  It's always fun to see and experience new ways of teaching things, and Jill has the experience and creativity to do so safely and enthusiastically.

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