Second Series and the Body/Mind Connection: Notes from Tim’s Training

 

yoga sutras
The Yoga Sutras, in the original.

While I’m waiting for Steve to get back from a morning surf session, I thought I’d do a quick post from the trenches of Tim Miller’s Second Series Teacher Training.

First of all, it’s an amazing group, and a privilege to be practicing with them. This is my third training with Tim, so some are old friends. Some are friends from his Mt. Shasta retreats. A few I met at the Confluence. There’s some magic in the air. Tim said it best: “When a group of dedicated practioners get together to study, anything can happen.”

Right now, I’m still settling in, still warming up. In an earlier post, I said we’d all soften slowly. Things seem to be happening a little more rapidly than I was expecting. The “epic” (Tim’s word) Hanuman Chalisa on Tuesday was both moving and energizing. In short, I cracked open.

Tim began by delving into the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which is something he always does. But he’s layering in new sutras, ones I can’t remember him covering before, and I’m seeing a pattern, a stress on recognizing the asana as a tool to connect us to the more subtle aspects of the body and the mind: “Are you doing the asana, or is the asana doing you?”

I’m trying to slowly understand the potential of what Tim is offering me, offering us. It may come down to three sutras for me: 1.31-1.33.  You can look them up yourself, but Tim told us these sutras are indicating a powerful mind/body connection. That suffering—both mental and physical—are in direct proportion to mental distraction. That we can cultivate happiness through the practice, through focusing on “one element.”

Tim: “When the mind is disturbed, the body is disturbed. When the psyche is disturbed, the soma is disturbed. And it works the other way around.” Ergo, “The body can change the psychological state. The breath is a powerful tool for this.”

A great gift. And when surrender happens, and mental stability is there, we have the potential to take part in the thing we’ve surrendered to—we can “actively participate in it,” we can become it (1.48).

I know. Mind blowing. So while we’re breaking down each asana, learning counts, adjustments, correct form, we’re also learning how to change ourselves, our students, and the world. Today, we start with parsvottanasana.

I think I’ll leave it at that. More to come!

Posted by Bobbie

 

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theconfluencecountdown

Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

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