Hardcore Ashtangi wows the Yoga Journal Conference
No, I’m not talking about David Swenson this time, although he was down in San Diego this weekend for the Yoga Journal Conference that continues through Monday.
In this case, it is Brent Kessel. He’s here in Los Angeles, and folks who practice at our shala know him.
According to a piece at Yoga Journal, he’s a Fifth Series guy. Fifth. As in, well, five. Or four more than me.
Here’s a little taste of what one Yoga Journal blogger thought about seeing the supra-advanced Ashtanga practice in action:
This evening’s Ashtanga demonstration by Brent Kessel gave us that. Kessel, who regularly blogs for Yogajournal.com, is not only a nationally respected financial advisor, he’s a 5th series Asthanga practitioner. Now, many of us have seen pictures of the poses in the advanced series’ of the Ashtanga Yoga tradition—they’re often the ones where the practitioner does something like holding their foot behind their head while in an arm balance.
To see it up close—such fluidity and yet complete control, sweat dripping from forehead yet never missing a beat—all I can say is, wow. And apparently a lot of others felt the same way. When I finally peeled my eyes from the action on the stage, I discovered about 200 people behind me all watching with the same awe, iPhones at the ready to capture a particularly spectacular moment.
Kessel is among that group of Ashtangis who also are financial wizards — Bill Gross of Pimco might be the most famous, if famous is a word you can attach to these people. There clearly is something about the discipline of the Ashtanga practice — perhaps the regularity and the progression? — that attracts them. Perhaps also the no-frills nature of the practice (or the ability of the practice to come with no frills) resonates.
Whatever it is, it’s good to see Ashtanga represented at such a big yoga event. We’ll keep our eye out for the video.
Posted by Steve