Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Iowa City Yoga Festival. Part Two!

Nothing like starting your Saturday morning with some 7am pranayama! Ok, I would rather be sleeping, but I had to try it out. Jim Bennitt is rather well known in the area, so it couldn't be too bad. I just have the attention span of a gnat that early in the morning when I am supposed to sit still….

Second class of the day was the one I was most looking forward to, but also the one I was fearing the most. Having heard everything that I had about Andrey from James, I think anyone would be super nervous. He is a very intense human being. And his class followed suit. He started with speed talking about his universal yoga practice with charts. I think I understood a little more than half. Such a heavy accent at that speed, I did the best I could. We got started with the practice, and he raced through it, and its an intense practice, I can only imagine how crazy it could be at normal speed with legit intent. He expects everything instantly and at full possibility. This one girl kept getting yelled at because she wasn't listening to the directions. Although, frankly after a while, she basically gave up and that just pissed him off more. He killed my shoulders though. They aren't meant to move like that!

I was supposed to have James as the next session, but after Andrey's arm murder (combined with two Gauntlets the day before) AND knowing what James expects, I decided I would rather have brunch! Nate was in the same boat, so we ventured off to campus in the rain to locate the Bluebird Diner. Second best decision of the weekend! The place was packed, and rightfully so. Absolutely delicious. I was responsible and got a nice omelet. And then split this GLORIOUS order of pumpkin bread french toast…. ;-)
Afternoon was Gabriel Anzoulay, Thai Yoga. The guy looks exactly like you would want your yoga instructor to look like. And sound like. And just like Dreaming Bear the night before. The women weren't anywhere close to shy in showing their "enthusiasm". At first he seemed to take the class a little bit too seriously. But really, in partner stretches like this, people doing them for the first time, you have to expect a little silliness. Otherwise, it might take it to the completely other level of totally awkward. I'd done partner yoga before, and that was quite helpful in the different Thai yoga poses, but it was a learning experience for sure. I'd love to try more sometime. 

Dinner was slightly more complicated than brunch, driving around in humid stormy weather, for far longer than should be done. But eventually landing on a sweet sandwich place. Which which! Yum. And crashing asleep.

I just love this picture of Benji.
Realizing that you have to be checked out of your hotel room before your first class of the day isn't all that bad. Until you realizing its pouring rain. Oh well. Jim Bennitt's purification session was up first. And I think it was maybe 45 minutes in to the two hour session that my brain said, "Hey, I'm done, this is too much focusing in a short weekend" and from then on out, I was just focusing on getting through the class. The breath work was kind of cool. It was the kind that churns your stomach in and out and in circles. Jim's a really easy talker, you can get into what he's' saying (until you lose focus). Although he had us attempt peacock, and I am pretty sure I was going to break my spine with my stomach. It was pretty entertaining though, "If you're one of those people with boobs, you're going to need to scoop them up." And by pranayama work at the end, I was making up stories about the people near me in my head….

Thus cuing me to probably leave early. I really wanted to stay for the Gong bath in the afternoon, but that involved five more hours of focused practice and then getting home at the complete end of the weekend. But leaving early meant i'd have nearly all of Sunday left to be productive. Sadly, I voted the latter. But I will get a gong bath in sometime again, I am determined!

It was a great time. I will go again next year (maybe just keeping in mind that I have total ADD). Definitely an edgy event for Iowa, and hoping that it will become more of the norm!

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