When I was a small kiddo, my sister and I were dropped into dance classes. Very quickly I became fascinated at what the human body was capable of doing. These little humans (the same age as me) could flip and twirl and MOVE their bodies in ways I had never even thought of attempting. That fascination has led me by the hand throughout life.
Just recently, I enrolled in a throwing workshop. When I told one of my friends about it, she perked up excitedly and said “Cool! A pottery class?” Nope. A martial arts workshop utilizing physics to throw humans with very little effort. Nevermind that I had absolutely no experience in throwing anything, made of clay or bones. For me, the intrigue was in learning new ways to move my body. It was exhilarating. I’d attempt a throw maybe 3-10 times incorrectly. It would feel awkward, heavy and clunky, like a wheel out of alignment. Then, something would change! All the bones and joints would line up. The mind and breath would line up and the result was...
Geoffrey Taylor is a highly experienced Ashtangi yogi and is bringing us the wealth of his practice with an upcoming class, Ashtanga Flow, starting April 11th. Check out this interview we did with him to learn a bit more about him and his yoga journey.
Tell us a little bit about how you first discovered Ashtanga Yoga and how long have you been studying & teaching Ashtanga influenced yoga?
I first discovered this form in my home state of AZ in 1996. It came to pass after my mother had given me a book by BKS Iyengar, for which I am forever grateful. Inspired, I went to the local bookstore and found an Ashtanga manual. And that got me practicing. This was a time and a place before the proliferation of Yoga in the U.S. I soon started going to every workshop or training that I could find. In 2001 I started traveling to Maui to study with the amazing community of senior teachers there. I spent the next few years focused on Ashtanga studies and teaching only Primary Series.
Normally, when I sit down to write a blog post, I begin with some sort of big idea, revelation or declaration that makes a clear and concise point. As I sit here in the woods outside of San Marcos, Texas after having spent five days doing 30 hours of asana, hours of chanting mantra, seemingly endless meditation (you know it feels like that sometimes) and a good dose of writing and reflection everyday, I feel calm and really, really tired. Not only that, I have so opened myself to the universe that makes up a yoga asana intensive – new people, new poses, new ways of looking at the practice and myself – that nothing feels sure, except for the process of practice.
There has been a lot of conversation during this intensive about how lucky we are to have a teacher who is, as my fellow student Livia Cohen Shapiro so intelligently phrased it, “smart, but relaxed.” When she said this during our closing circle, we all laughed, because we understood how true it is. C...