Day 3 – Part 1
“Today has easily been the best yoga day of my life. I had prioritized a visit to ISHTA to Alan Finger’s meditation class after reading Breathing Space by Katrina Repka but I had not been prepared for the deeply resonating teaching I would experience. Alan just knew how to speak in a way that we could feel what he was saying rather than hear it. The gentle hatha yoga he used to help us prepare our bodies for meditation set the pace and the pranayama that both accompanied the physical movement and continued on once we were still seemed perfectly designed. I literally felt my consciousness expand during the meditation that followed (yes, I deliberately used the word literally, I actually felt something). A series of blue and gold coloured beams of light moving up from my tailbone to the crown of my head to create a beautiful rising fountain that bubbled away at the crown of my head for a little while. I felt my self shift from the confines of my physical body, exploring the energy that shared the room with me and then out of the building until I no longer felt my physical body, only a faint link to my breathing body and my consciousness shifted to inhabit the subtle body for a short time “.
I was on a high when we came out of meditation. Alan took us through a series of exercises (I have no memory of the specifics) to ground us, but I was still buzzing with energy after class. I stayed on to take an ISHTA beginners/intermediate class and then a marma session. The only way to describe how I felt at the end was free. Open, unending, not in the slightest bit vulnerable, despite being totally spaced out in a big unfamiliar city. I was home.
Specifics of my morning (4hrs) at ISHTA:
- 75 minute meditation class with Alan. Now I see how people choose a guru. Class began with explantation of nadis and pranayama techniques to direct energy and access higher or expanded consciousness and possibly samadhi (which was spoken about as if, of course you will experience this) Gentle asana with pranayama to awaken energy channels, strong pranayama and then seated meditation. No further instruction required, the breath and consciousness just knew what do to. Bliss. The drawing of energy up the crown chakra by senior teacher (possibly Alan, I don’t know I had my eyes closed) was amazing.
- Awesome cueing by Kelly in the ISHTA beg/int class. Beautiful slow opening warm up, sun salutation based standing practice. Short basic seated sequence before Savasana. Neither too strong or too gentle, began with a flow then gentle holding in poses in the middle part of the sequence. Kelly’s experience as a teacher and deep grounding in ISHTA wisdom was evident.
- Marma massage with Michael . Ouch! He warned me there would be strong pressure along certain points of the body. But with the feeling that something good was happening – unblocking points along the marma lines to release the flow of energy through the body. Finished with reiki over my head and face. I’m now a bit shaky and a lot spaced out. Something has definitely shifted. Left hip is aching again. I feel open, very open but not at all vulnerable. I feel at one.
I sat in a cafe for a long while with a warm drink and food.
I went for a bike ride in Central Park.
I went to meet Leslie Kaminoff.
…The day was about to get a whole lot more interesting… Part 2 of Day 3 will explain.