Starting to learn backbend with Kimberly
Three great things about morning mysore
1.The teaching: For most of my time at Yoga East, every time I showed up for morning mysore class I was rewarded with the attention of either Karen Rafferty or the founder-director of the studio, Kimberly Dahlmann. It’s impossible to calculate the value of the steady stream of guidance, support and encouragement they provided. When I was ready to try something new or more challenging, or when I needed to accept where I was and stop pushing for awhile, they pointed that out. When I was hurting in body or spirit, they showed me how to work with the pain. They taught me how to breathe and how to use breath in the practice. All this was in addition to thousands of adjustments to bring greater alignment, openness or ease into the postures. Thank you, Kimberly, Karen and all my morning mysore teachers!
2. The community: Morning mysore class is busy these days but there is a fairly small core of practitioners who have been coming to this class regularly over the years. This group is an important community for me even though we don’t talk much or know much about each other’s lives outside of class. The closeness I feel is in the unspoken support of being together day after day – just being present for the struggles and the triumphs as we each work to evolve our practices. It’s definitely one of the things that keep me motivated to get up early for yoga.
3. The morning ritual: Since Ashtanga vinyasa yoga works the internal organs fairly intensively, it’s best to come to it with an empty stomach, bladder and bowels. This has meant I couldn’t just roll out of bed and onto the mat for morning mysore. I have always been an early-to-bed, early-to-rise person but most of my adult life have used the early morning hours for work. Instead, for the past seven or eight years, on yoga mornings, I have taken time over my cup of tea for spiritual reading and reflection. Eventually, a daily meditation practice evolved out of this routine. I doubt I ever would have gotten there without the pull of mysore class on weekday mornings.