donna, dvd yoga

I don’t normally study with other yoga instructors and right here’s why: I live hours from any significant city centre and tend to remain close house. I like doing my own practice in the Yoga Shed. And, well, fine, I’m a bit of a snob. I want to study with the very best when I take some time to travel long range and spend time with a teacher.

Recently, when the opportunity to study with Donna Farhi arose, I jumped at it.

She and I go back. Not long after Donna moved to New Zealand from the States, we welcomed her to come to our school, the Sydney Yoga Centre to teach. That was twenty years ago.

Back then, Donna shocked my students and me by teaching us something called ‘formulation motion patterns’. Donna felt enthusiastic about teaching this things due to the fact that she thought that these motions stand for natural and universal patterns that underpin all yoga poses.

Our SYC yoga instructor students had actually been strictly schooled in positioning and in long timings in classic yoga poses. However, in Donna’s workshop, they discovered themselves being directed back to the beginnings of movement, even in utero. We were on the floor swimming in imaginary amniotic fluid, moving with the numerous developmental phases to all-4’s crawling, followed by learning contra-lateral motions, and eventually standing upright. In reconsideration, the work we did makes good sense, yet at the time a few of us were rather resistant to finding out something so radically different.

In the workshops I have actually simply finished with Donna, the emphasis was not on these patterns. We came down to useful things like sharpening our kinaesthetic skills and finding out optimum ways of caring for necks, shoulders, and the sacroiliac joint.

I went to the seminars with an open mind, knowing that I would remove great deals of new techniques and information, which I did.

In the end however, I received far more than those. I was able to hang out with a teacher who understands how to be. Do not get me incorrect. I love understanding brand-new means of utilizing props and revitalizing anatomical understanding. I enjoy hanging with my coworkers in the yoga community and satisfying the younger generation of teachers and students.

Yet, in my world, being with somebody who is authentic and completely present surpasses the opportunity to enhance my alignment or broaden my anatomical vocabulary. I guess what I’m saying is that my function for doing yoga has altered over the years.

Donna kindly shared her capability to be with everybody. The good idea about this capability is that it resembles an electrical existing. When you get yourself plugged in, being is contagious and portable. It takes practice but you can recreate it yourself.

Anyone who has actually taught for some time will tell you that it is a lot easier to instruct positions than it is to facilitate being and becoming. Donna was brave in her early days of teaching, beating a course through the thicket of dogma and traditional teaching and to come so strongly from her own experience.

If you would such as inspiration for instructing more authentically and for cultivating being, I advise Jay Fields’ exceptional book, Teaching Individuals, Not Poses: 12 Concepts for Teaching Yoga With Integrity. At the top of Jay’s list of her 12 tips for teaching with integrity is ‘Be Yourself’.

Probably the Old Sage, Patanjali, would have written: Be Your Self or even simply Be.

Note: If the concept of exploring developmental motion patterns interests you, Donna will be teaching a 5-day intensive in Sydney in June 2015.