Anusara yoga is a fantastic system of yoga by which you're gifted 5 alignment priciples. Open to Grace, Muscular Energy, Inner Spiral, Outer Spiral and Organic Energy---each principle builds on the next in order for you to shine out with energectic movement and light. I've been really nervous about bringing in Inner Sprial and Outer Spiral as a featured principle to the kids-- I think it was more my own insecurity surrounding the spirals than the kids lack of wanting to learn them-- in fact, as I sit here, I know it was.
This week I took the leap, and brought them into the practice. Inner and Outer Sprial as the theme, opening to your best self as the heart quality. Inner and Outer Sprial are difficult to teach to the new student, because as a new student, you feel disconnected from your body-- at least for me, I was like flipping around like a tuna most of the first year of yoga-- and I was 35 not 14.
We started with the warm ups of inner and outer, understanding that the movement is a isometric movement of the bones in the legs, a refinement-- for the first 1/2 of the class the kids tried so hard, they really were working the legs in Utkatasana and trying their hardest to understand their upper inner thighs, but as the class went on, they felt like they couldn't do it and I was losing them and their energy was waning --- in jail, this practice is hard because we have no props, no blocks to hold between the legs, no belts from which to help the movement, just the body which I have to admit I really like-- don't get me wrong I am prop girl, but there's something about the rawness of no props and becoming ingenius about how do get the understanding across.
The girls were a little easier to grap onto this idea, girls are funny because if one person says they feel they all say they do---- it's pretty bizarre, but boys if they don't get it they don't period, they don't care if the person next to them does-- one of my longtime students was the most frustrated, but after a while of softening into the idea that his body knew what to do-- he exlaimed--"Jen, my body is amazing, I can feel that bone move in my leg--that's like bionic man kind of stuff."
My "Bionic Men" got it after about 35 minutes of warm ups, and their inner spirals and outer spirals were beautiful, one boy said, I don't think my leg has ever been this straight-- and another boy said, "Jen, throw down with me here, I'm taller from that right-- like 3 inches taller?"