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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"Good Yoga"

This weekend I was lucky enough to get the chance to work with Naiem Jezzeny.
Here is a little bit of a background on this remarkable person.

“Naime is a nationally-renowned, certified Anusara® teacher who is celebrated for a teaching style that is precise, accessible, and light-hearted. He is unique among yoga teachers for his in-depth knowledge of biomechanics and its application to yoga and other movement disciplines. His extensive background includes formal studies in exercise physiology and kinesiology at the University of Southern California.
His years of study allow him to take the therapeutic qualities of yoga to another level. Naime has worked rehabilitatively with a wide variety of professionals including Olympic gold medalists, actors, dancers, and business leaders. Naime has assisted and studied extensively with John Friend since 1999 and incorporates the Universal Principles of Alignment into all of his teaching. Regarded as a teacher’s teacher and a master of therapeutics, he teaches workshops and trainings throughout the U.S and at his teaching home Yogaphoria in New Hope PA.”

I’ve never met someone with so much life inside them. So much power, energy and determination. The room was filled with our teacher trainees’ along with a bunch of people who just signed up for the weekend. One thing was for sure, the room was filled with unbelievable radiance.
Over the course of the weekend we concentrated on Yoga therapeutics. We learned how to help someone reach enlightenment during their practice. How to assist and adjust. We focused on alignment within the student and ourselves.
Naime described yoga as “baking” NOT like making a soup. The difference between the two is when you’re making a soup, you tend to just throw things into the pot, play around, and you tend to not measure anything. When you’re baking though, you need to be precise…if you’re not and you add too much flour, or too little of something you can be left with a big mess or complete disaster. What he meant by this all comes back to alignment and precision. If you’re in a pose and you’re not integrated, aligned you could end up BEING the disaster and end up with your body in a mess. This doesn’t mean making sure your body is in the “correct posture” as there isn’t such a thing. It’s more making sure you’re body is in proper alignments so you’re able to reap the benefits of the posture.
We worked on upper body all day Saturday. Backbends hips and lower body on Sunday. He would have someone who had pain in their shoulders or anywhere in a posture come to the front. We would get them into a pose that was difficult for them and see where they needed more alignment and precision. We then worked with partners and got to do the assist/adjustment on them.
There are assets and perils to this. We are all yogi’s and have all worked so much with each other for a long time. I feel we have a very good understanding of where the alignment needs to be. We were able to bring each other deeper into the pose, and really feel it, but I look forward to working with the unknown and evidently learning more.
Although everything Naiem said was SO basic at times and really a repetition of everything we’ve pretty much gone through in class with Colin and Grant; we ALL learned something! Whether it was something about a different body type, different therapeutics, and I guarantee we all learned something about ourselves.
My favorite line of the weekend was “inner body bright” What does that mean to you? What would you do if someone said that to you? I’m going to test this all week while I’m assisting in class and working on friends and family. It’s really amazing what a simple sentence can do for you.

Towards the end of the weekend I got to work with a lot of girls I haven’t worked with yet. I worked with Tree and Paola on Saturday afternoon and felt we had a really strong connection. Tree has this love that truly shines from everywhere and Paula can pretty much make me laugh on command. Sunday afternoon I got to work along with Simone who I found out has some funny old school connections to me. Kaja who is a beautiful mother and Reiki master and Lisa who pretty much took over and opened my eyes up to things I have never noticed in my own body…all of them helped me in a tremendous way. This teacher training has been a life blessing…although I VERY sad that it is coming to an end; I know these friendships will last forever!

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