It’s been a little over a week since my return from San Marcos, Texas. I was in San Marcos for a four-day intensive with one of my teacher, Christina Sell. It was intense. I am still digesting. In a very good way.
I was introduced to Christina online about a year ago, on suggestion of my friend Sara who had done some work with her in Tuscon. Sara told me I would love Christina’s intensity and focus. She was right. I was hooked on Christina from my very first virtual connection with her through Yogaglo to my first physical meeting with her last June in Chicago. I had a major yoga crush. She’s small, but freakishly strong (and she has the t-shirt to prove it.). She’s not a teacher for the faint of heart nor is she for those into the “flow and glow” style of yoga. No, Christina makes you work. Hard. And not because she tells you to work hard, but because you are INSPIRED to dig deep inside and really go for it.
The four days of asana practice in San Marcos were, without a doubt, some of the most intense practices of my decade-plus of practice. Christina would come in with a sequence, no time constraints and a very ambitious agenda that required us to be present, to stay in the room and to really listen to our own bodies. The first day alone we practiced 3 1/2 hours building up to Natarajasana. And I hit the deepest Natarjasana ever, because I had really pushed it in my practice. Not in a way that was painful or evasive, just in a way that was intense. I pushed myself to the edge of my comfort, knowing that if I danced with the edge, I would experience something deeper. I played with the edge of my pose, my experience, my intensity and my focus. And I was rewarded with a deeper pose.
The next three days continued much in the same way, with hours of asana practice surrounded by some serious kick-ass yogis. It was a blessing to be in the presence of this energy. The energy, not only from Christina, but also from the group, also encouraged me to take that step to play with my edge. To recognize that I was in a safe space, surrounded by supporting and loving folks who had my back. So I could take the chance to fall over, then pick myself up, dust myself off and try again. And again. And again. ( Christina – “Just do something. Anything.”).
As we moved into our time with Manorama, Christina’s Sanskrit and spiritual teacher, the physicality of the practice merged into the spirit of what the practice is all about. Manorama reminded us that “it’s not how you fall down, but how you get up that matters.” Truth resonates in that statement. Pause, and think about all the moments in your life when you fell down. Did it really matter how or why you fell? No, what you remember (or what I always remember), is how I chose to react after the fall. How I chose to get up, to dust myself off and move on. It’s easy to wallow in the pain of the fall, but it takes real commitment to your practice to get up and move on.
So I get up every morning, unroll my mat, and in some way, shape or form, I practice. I play the edge. And it’s not as intense as when I am in an intensive setting, when I am with my teacher, but Christina’s words and “pep talks” always resonate in my body and in my heart. This is my commitment to my practice. To keep getting up, to put a deposit in the bank (in Christina’s words) and to keep exploring to find my edge.