Ashwattha Yoga Update

I am now full swing into the teacher training, and should be finished by the end of October. My classes are going really well. I taught at Saint Michael’s during the summer, mostly to colleagues in my department, and Jessica, who were all incredibly supportive and helpful with feedback, questions, and a great practice. I hope to see more of them as my classes continue this semester. I had my first openly promoted class this week. Four first year students, clearly feeling some stress from the big changes in their lives, came to class and, with Jessica we had a great practice. I’m looking forward to working with them and others of St. Mike’s community going forward.

The classes at First Congregational Church in Essex Junction have been an inspiration to me. I get a little teary-eyed when I think of it, actually. Folks are coming to the mat with no expectations, completely open to what we learn there. With a wide range of physical strength, flexibility, and range of motion, we are all easing into an amazing yogi practice. For me, it is a great challenge in letting my own expectations of “good yoga” fall by the wayside. Yesterday was the last class on Thursday evenings; I’ll take next week off and then begin teaching on Monday evenings there. Once we have an established time slot, I’ll also start promoting the class to the larger community, and I look forward to this class every week.

I have also started to explore other places in the area where I can offer classes. I’m trying to think of my teaching as a form of tithing, so i would like to teach at least four hours of free yoga a week. With help from Sangha Studio in Burlington, we’re trying to set something up with Veteran’s Administration. I’m also going to try to offer free classes at the Prison in South Burlington. I’m waiting to see if this is something I can do through Sangha Studio as well, or if it makes more sense to just offer the classes on my own. Also, if we can get the furniture moved around enough in our house, I’d like to turn the front room into a mini-studio, and offer some classes in the mornings.

One of my favorite parts of this Summer was our hosting our Tribe in Killington for a week at “Pig Roast” (no pigs were harmed in this year’s event). I held daily asana classes in the morning and had an absolutely wonderful time. It was just an incredible outpouring of support from folks whom I love a lot. Not everyone came to the classes, but many did, and many tried it who were absolutely out of their comfort zone. I learned a lot from working with a lot of different body types, and I really gained some confidence in my practice. Out of this, I got a very nice request (thank you Nicole!!) to make some videos of my classes so that the folks who were with me in Killington could continue their practice. This is waaay outside of my comfort zone, and feels a bit presumptuous for someone who doesn’t have the most beautiful practice (or voice) in the world, but, when your Sangha makes a request, it’s probably a good idea to give it a shot. So look out for some videos sometime this Fall.

My teacher training has been going very well. I’ve been working on a longer description of that, and will save more info for a later update. The weekend classes will be finished in October, and then I just need to do some class demonstrations and some individual consultations, and I’ll have the certification, and, more importantly, Peter’s blessing to teach.

I still need to make my final payment of tuition. My fundraising campaign has been successful beyond any expectations. So far, thirty-three people have contributed a total of $2,563. Leaving me with just $779 dollars left to raise. Just in case you have been waiting until the last minute, or until you felt a little more secure for making contributions, now would be a great time to donate. Here is a link to the site for donations, if you want to check it out.

As always, I appreciate any and all support I have been given. I means the world to me, and I hope I can make your support meaningful. My training has taken on a much greater responsibility for me because of it; I can’t just stop, because it is difficult (it is) or I feel uncomfortable standing in front of a class pretending to be some yogi sage (I do). I feel the need to take this energy and use it as well as I can to create some good in the world.

Thank you all for helping me with that.

Love and Light,
Jonah


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