Can you think on your feet? What would you do if “the game changed” on you?
For my third karma class, I had prepared a sequence focusing on core and abdominal work. I planned to include challenging poses like Dolphin, Vasisthasana, Pigeon and Bow. Don’t know why this theme spoke to me. That was where my instincts were headed on the day that I wrote it up.
When I finally got to the studio, I greeted the students as they entered and polled them for their experience level, possible injuries or other limitations. This time it was a mixed group of eleven yoginis – experienced, had been away from yoga for a while, newbies and two preteen girls. Wow. That really made me reevaluate the practice that I had planned.
So what’s a yogini to do? Go with the flow of course!
I started it out simple. First, a couple rounds of Half Sun Salutations. Then, I took the group mindfully through a few Sun Salutations, emphasizing alignment principles. For a brief moment, I was worried that some students were struggling with the Sun Salutations so I asked my classmate/assistant to demo the asanas at the front of the room. It helped somewhat. After that, I had to let it go and allow them do their practice. I did my best to be aware that they were being safe and not going to injure themselves. I cut out a few of the postures but made sure to leave a couple of challenging poses in.
Twice, someone erupted in spontaneous laughter. That still counted as core work, as far as I was concerned, so I worked it into the class. It helped to lighten up the mood and to make the practice playful.
This karma class was Ishvara Pranidana, or surrendering to the Universal. Thank you to the yoginis that came out to practice on Sunday afternoon. It was a great reminder and a good exercise in how to go with the flow…