Erich Schiffmann. He is love. He is a mirror. And so are you.
I have been looking for a way to study with Erich for a long time. One of my teachers in Colorado introduced me to his book (Moving into Stillness, which I have mentioned here many times) years ago. It’s a book about asana, but also about so much more than asana. It’s about how asana fits in to your complete experience of Yoga. And that has always been pretty important to me. How to be in the pose that is life, not just how to get there.
That said, I know that having expectations can be a dangerous thing. So I was just open. And it was so much more than I could have expected (this was the case with the entire Ojai Yoga Crib).
Here’s how the day works:
At this point, most people were very much in their shells yet. We arrived at Meditation Mount, eager to begin. Some people already knew each other and chatted. Others sat quietly or carefully set up practice space. Erich unwrapped his whole bag. The day begins.
Erich talks. About love, about plugging in, about getting quiet and going on-line with the Big Mind. That is to say that when we relax, when we get quiet, we connect. Then we realize that we were already connected anyway. He talked about how he is making things simpler and simpler.
That Yoga is the conscious connection with infinity. (I love that.)
Whatever I write here is so small compared to how big these concepts are/ this energy is. So I will leave it at that.
We sit. The energy is so high. I feel a bit untethered from the reality my ego clings to. At times it is too much for ego-self, so I open my eyes to come back. Pretty righteous. Pretty trippy.
Led asana. I vaguely remember this being variations on cat-cow, but I cannot say for certain. To be honest, I wanted to be completely immersed in the present/ presence, so I left my pen behind. When Oona was very young, this was a way for me to BE mindfulness. There really is something to the amnesia that comes from true presence. When you’re not all up in your head, it is hard to remember things in a linear way, but I remember what it felt like and that is most significant.
Freedom-Style asana. Erich puts on inspiring music and we practice moving from a place of openness. 5 songs. I recall playing with undulating into really deep back-bends, then dancing into balancing postures. Alicia Keys’ “Fallin'” makes for really powerful transitions.
LUNCH. so hungry. so happy.
Erich talks, part II. He answered questions. It was pretty amazing. Most of it was pretty deep and I want to maintain the sacred space, but I will share Erich’s thoughts on dealing with people who are behaving in a challenging way. “Find a way to stay relaxed.” Essentially. That is the key. That is the work. That is the practice.
Sit. After lunch was much more grounded meditation for me. Nice.
Led asana. Deep hip & shoulder openers leading to full lotus. My hips and shoulders were very challenged. Approaching from a relaxed place is working for me.
Freedom-Style asana. SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND!! I was really into forward folds, inversions. DEEP.
I am really grateful for this time with Erich. Everything he said struck a chord with me, though so much of this work is very subtle and challenging (in its simplicity).
Sorry if you read this and it just seems like jibber–jabber. It makes sense to me.