Thursday, November 29, 2012

Shadow Ashtanga, dropping like flies, and moving to Idaho

This morning, I decided do my practice in what used to be my Buddhist prayer/practice room (for more details, see this post) instead of the living room, where I have been practicing for the last two months. I just felt that the prayer room seems to be quite a bit warmer than the living room, which might make for an easier practice (less internal heat to have to build up to get my system going).

Because the prayer room is smaller than the living room, the lighting from the ceiling light impacts my body at a more direct angle. Which means, among other things, that I could actually see my shadow on the wall as I moved through the Suryas. It's especially cool (not to mention ego-boosting) to be able to see my shadow lift its lower half cleanly off the ground in trini position, and then float and land neatly in Chaturanga. I even suspect that my shadow may actually look better than its owner (me) doing Ashtanga! For the record, I've never actually video-ed myself doing Ashtanga before. Which also means that I've never actually seen myself doing Ashtanga. Isn't it interesting that I'm never seen myself doing something which is so much a part of my daily life?

Practice on the whole was good today, if I ignore my rather uninspiring performance in Karandavasana. Tried the posture four times. Every single time, I missed my forearms/elbows, and dropped like a fly into seated padmasana (Ha! "Dropping like flies in Karandavasana"... sounds like a song or poem or book title :-)). But setting aside the uninspiring performance in Karandavasana, the rest of practice was great. The energy level was great, and I moved through the whole thing at a good clip; I did primary up to Baddha Konasana and second up to Karandavasana in about an hour and forty minutes. I know that the speed of one's practice is not the only indicator of the quality of the practice, but I really think there is something to be said for moving through the practice at a good clip. Builds heat, and also prevents one from over-thinking things. But maybe the downside is that if I had practiced at a slower pace, I would have had more energy to do a "better" Karandavasana; I can't help thinking that it may be easier to land Karandavasana (and eventually, come back up) if my breathing were a little slower. I don't know. We'll see what happens tomorrow.   


In other news: I will be moving to Pocatello, Idaho in early January. A few days ago, I was offered a short-term teaching position at Idaho State, and decided to take it. It is not a tenure-track position (obviously), but the terms are, well, better than my present employment situation, so I decided to take it. Ah, the joys of not being on the tenure track...

Anyway, I just started looking online for apartments today, and basically getting myself into relocation mode. It's not exactly a small move, distance-wise: Pocatello is 16 hours from where I am presently at. I guess I'm lucky that I don't have a lot of stuff, so I won't have the problem of having to lug a whole truckload of things across the country. But I do have a few boxes of books (mostly works of philosophy and literature) that I would like to give away to anybody who would like to have them. If you live near where I am (Fargo, ND, and Moorhead, MN), and are interested in coming into the possession of a few (or more than a few) good books, please email me. Otherwise, I'll have to try to give them away to local used bookstores or my department or something. 

Anyway, I know nothing about Idaho. The only people I know who are from Idaho are not even from this world:

Anybody seen these guys lately?
[Image taken from here]

So yeah, it's not like I can get in touch with Uncle Rico, Napoleon or Kip, and ask them if they would like to hang out and maybe do some Ashtanga or Rex Kwon Do together. Oh, and if you don't know what Rex Kwon Do is, boy, are you missing out! It's so kick-ass, it makes Mixed Martial Arts look like a walk in the park. As they say, a (moving) picture says a thousand words. Here's a powerful demonstration of Rex Kwon Do from the Rex himself:

Impressive, no? ;-) 

Anyway, long story short, is anybody reading this blog from Idaho? If you are, feel free to email me. Maybe we really can do some Rex Kwon Do together? ;-) 

And also, does anybody know anybody who does Ashtanga in Idaho? Probably a long shot, but I guess it can't hurt to ask, right? I looked on the KPJAYI website, and it seems that the closest authorized teacher in that part of the country lives in Missoula, Montana, which is five hours from Pocatello. Maybe I'll take a little detour when I am moving there, and see if I can drop by and study with him for a day or two. 

More later. 


  1. Hey there Brave Nobel!

    Fear not! There IS ashtanga yoga in Idaho. In Boise there is a talented yogini, Gretchen, who teaches a classes at Sage Yoga. And she and her crew have self practices and have visiting teachers come (like Jodi Blumstein in February) they are well worth a friendly visit as they are filled with happenings...

    Then there is a small group in Lewiston, Idaho who also are rockin' it....

    ...and then there is Down to Earth Yoga in Bozeman - also close to Poco..where Randa has her awesome shala. And yep, you are right about Missoula - heaps of ashtanga there too with Glen and Katie hosting and creating vibrant events often...

    Of course there is a beautiful shala in Jackson Hole - ran by Adi and her can find them out with an easy google search. They host great teachers and are themselves as well.

    Don't forget Utah - Jeff and Sarah have events going on in SLC so always worth a trip to the Wasatch to meet some ashtangi pals too.

    So there you have it. Within 2-7 hours, heaps of practice pals.

    Blessings to you on your journey to the Gem State. One word for you that you must learn about Idaho: hotsprings....specifically, "Gold Bug" hotsprings.

    Mountain adventures await you!

    Blessings, Nobel.


    Sarah Hatcher

    1. Wow, thanks for the wealth of information here. I think I'll try to stop by Randa's shala in Bozeman on the way to Poco. Come to think of it, I almost went to her studio a couple of years ago for Kino's workshop, which got cancelled at the last minute. So this will set things right :-) Also, driving from Bozeman to Poco, I'll get to see Yellowstone, which I've always wanted to visit.

      And yes, I'll check out the hotsprings :-) Thanks. Nice Karandavasana video with Lex, by the way :-)

  2. Idaho! Wow! Good luck with the move and the transition. That's one part of the country that's a mystery to me so I look forward to reading your take on it.

    1. Thanks D :-) I'll continue to blog and maybe take and post some pictures.

  3. Hot springs!!?? Did she say hot springs? You are blessed! Plus you will be so close to all those gorgeous national parks. From looking at the map you could even do some Richard Freeman yoga tourism in Boulder,maybe? I'm not good at judging distances. I wish you good fortune, and it sure sounds pretty around there..

    1. Thanks sereneflavor :-) Yes, the idea of going to Boulder to study with Richard Freeman sounds very tempting indeed... (well, of course, the hot springs are, too)

  4. Dear Nobel,

    I'm moving to Moscow, Idaho for a job, too. I'll be there in January. I found this post by googling "Ashtanga + Idaho" out of desperation. Let me know what you find!