Posts Tagged ‘being present’

Appreciating Our Teachers: Rodney Yee

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

This past week Rodney Yee was at Karuna for his annual week long Advanced Yoga Study. On Thursday night Rodney taught an open class for the public which had around 100 participants and several assistants including Eileen Muir and Rodney’s wife Coleen. The energy was high and bright as we worked through a series of twists for the two-hour class. Rodney wove his way through the maze of limbs and mats, maintaining a grounded connection with each student.

Towards the end of the class Rodney instructed us to lie on our backs and place our feet on the ground close to our sit bones. He then asked us to place our hands on the floor next to our ears, palms down, fingers facing our shoulders. Silently every student prepared themselves for the challenging pose that was to come next: urdvha danurasana. Upon instruction we lifted our pelvis high and waited for the next action to position us into the back bend. Then, with gentle chiding, Rodney told us all to settle our pelvises back on the ground. He had caught us, every single person, anticipating. He had caught all of us not being in the present. The studio erupted with laughter as Rodney teased us about this simple yet profound moment. We had all forgotten to stay with the present. Our bodies and minds had started to tell the story of The Urdhva Danurasana: Full Pose rather than the moment of inhale, or the next of bringing our elbows toward one another, or the next of exhale, or of the feeling of the air on our skin, or the sound reverberating within the studio, or the layer just beneath our skin, or the space seven inches in front of each of us…

Everyone had their own experience of Rodney’s class but this moment resounded for many if not all of us. Speaking only for myself but I suspect many others as well, I am grateful to have shared this moment and my practice with Rodney and the Karuna community. I visited Rodney’s blog after class and found this quote to be especially true: “Train yourself to be in awe of the subtle, and you will live in a world of beauty and ease”. I believe that the subtle is our keyhole into the present and I would like to thank Rodney for reminding me that the present is where I want to be.

Erin McNally, Karuna Student, 200YTT Graduate, Blog keeper.