Monday, 10 January 2011
Adventures with Swenson - Part 1
This post is a little late in coming but at the start of December I attended 2 David Swenson workshops at Triyoga London - I'd taken one workshop with him the previous year but wanted to remind myself of his teaching style before S and I headed to India, so that we'd know what to expect. I was so glad that I took these workshops because by the end of the day I was even more excited than before about our upcoming trip to Purple Valley.
David is such an amazing teacher - it's not just the vast amount of knowledge that he has stored in his head, it's the articulate, expressive and often amusing way that he manages to convey that knowledge to students that makes attending one of his workshops such an enjoyable and fun experience. But more than that, what sets him apart for me is that he's just such a genuinely lovely guy - so open, honest and humble in the way that he communicates with people.
The first of the workshops was a led full primary series - 'All Aboard the Ashtanga Train'. This was actually the first time I'd ever been taken through the full primary series and it was a great experience (not to mention exhausting) to be led through it in the 'proper' flowing way...even though I struggled to keep up with the pace at times (it takes me a while to shuffle my way into position in certain asanas - by then David was on his second or third count!). Come the end of that first workshop I was feeling fairly tired, but after a 30 minute break it was time for the next - 'Ashtanga's Greatest Hits'.
This workshop was a bit more light hearted than the first - it was basically an opportunity to try out a number of 'party poses' with many tips and tricks from David for how to pull off some more challenging asanas. It was great fun although I did have a fairly uncomfortable moment about half way through. After practising Mayurasana, the guy who I was partnered with was complaining to me that it hurt him where his elbows had dug into his torso...he then proceeded to show me the afflicted area. I assumed that the location of his pain would be around his ribs, but seemingly the discomfort was located slightly lower down his abdomen. Instead of lifting up his top, he instead rolled down the top of his shorts, revealing a good deal of his 'pant moustache' and a little too much of something else as well. Not quite sure where to look I just managed to splutter 'Oh dear..' and maintained a fixed gaze towards David at the front of the room, hoping that the moment would pass quickly...which thankfully it did.
That slightly awkward encounter aside it was a thoroughly enjoyable day and a great taster for what was to come a few weeks later in Goa...more of that to come.