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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

free advertising

it's interesting how a small sign led me to a new discovery.

on sunday, as i was leaving saul's class, i happened to check the notice board at the back of the room.

"please check with the front desk..."

since there were at least 60 students in the filled-to-capacity class, it was no surprise to see that there were around 10 students who still needed to pay for the class. i'm sure it was innocent enough; they probably showed up late and decided to take care of the financials after class. still, to be considered a "delinquent" can't be good for one's reputation, so i try to avoid it at all costs (although i know my name has shown up on that board at least once, pretty much because i thought i had classes left on my series pass and actually had used them all up).

i scanned the list to see if i recognized any of the names. and one stood out: kishan shah. where had i seen that name before? aha!... there was his name in the santa monica yoga schedule! not having taken a class with him before, it looked like the perfect reason to find out more about him.

that afternoon, when i got home, i looked up his bio on the santa monica yoga website:

Kishan Shah teaches Hatha vinyasa yoga with a dynamic synthesis of solar and lunar energetics, encompassing asana, pranayama, bandha, mantra and mudra. His classes are a challenge to the body, a practice for the breath, a focus for the mind, and a delight to the soul. For more information visit www.kishanshah.com.

then i googled him and found this:

Kishan Shah's introduction to yoga came from his father through the ritual practices of Bhakti Yoga. His passion for learning has taken him to India many times studying with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Sharath Rangaswamy, and Lino Miele. He completed his teacher training in the Himalayas with Swami Govindananda at the Sivananda Yoga & Vedanta Ashram, and advanced studies with Shiva Rea at Sacred Movement. He is one of Shiva's primary assistants for workshops and retreats worldwide.

intrigued, i decided i needed to give his class a shot. and wouldn't you know it, he was teaching a lunchtime community class at santa monica yoga the next day. the time fit in perfectly with my schedule and the cost was a deal (sm yoga community classes are half-price). perfect!

i had always thought that so-called "community" classes were taught by newly-trained teachers who were still honing their teaching skills while trying to build up a student following. and that they were attended by little old ladies who wanted to take gentler yoga classes, didn't want to spend the money, and didn't want to compete (so to speak) with the younger, more nubile yoga students (but then again, i could be describing myself -- i'm petite and getting older. and definitely trying to penny-pinch. sigh).

anyway, after taking kishan's class, i now know that i was dead wrong. his class was just about as tough as any other full-priced class i'd taken, and he definitely was no rookie! not only that, but my fellow students didn't look like they qualified for AARP membership (ok, so maybe there were a couple that probably did).

from beginning to end, it was like he was channeling shiva rea. yes, it was kishan's voice, but the sequencing was very shiva-like. we were flowing from one asana to the next -- bending, stretching, pushing, balancing. what we were doing required balance, strength, and most of all, coordination. there were some poses that i had never done before: twistandsquatthiswayasana, followed by twistandsquatthatwayasana, then balancewithbackbendasana, and so on. holding in down dog seemed to be the most relaxing pose we did.

since i've been accused of suffering from YADD (yoga attention deficit disorder), all this new stuff was very exciting (although initially confusing) to me! i've just found myself another challenge that i need to conquer...

so whether kishan planned it or not, his neglecting to pay for his class sunday ended up earning him some free advertising space on the board. which landed him a new student -- me :)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your insight about Hala,Julian, and Seane yoga class. I found it interesting,because I would like to try thier classes. Have you taken any yoga workshops ? Could you tell about the experience? Thank you . Namaste

8:52 AM  
Blogger joni said...

the only workshop i've taken so far is an arm balance and handstand workshop. it helped me to some extent, although since i had set my expectations quite high (i thought i'd be able to do the arm balances successfully by the end of the class), i was a bit disappointed when i realized i still couldn't do them. i really have to learn to be more patient with myself :)

1:42 PM  

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