Through my teacher training program last year, I had the opportunity to meet some truly amazing and gifted people. So many varied interests and passions, yet we all came together to learn more about yoga and to deepen our own practice!
I had the pleasure to talk to Kath before teacher training started in late 2008. As a fellow knitter, she found me online before we started studying together and we exchanged a few emails before meeting at the studio. Over the year, we grew closer and I have the joy to call her my dear friend. We can talk about yoga, we can talk about knitting and yarn ~ it just flows and it is beautiful.
One of Kath’s many offerings is that she is also fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), and she just started teaching her first yoga class in ASL at a local studio. When she asked me to help her with a little photography project for her class, I jumped at the chance for this special project. She wanted to put together a visual set of poses with the proper alignment for her students. Since she is teaching the class in ASL, she cannot always demonstrate the pose because her hands will be used in the pose. That is where the photos come in!
We met up at the studio on a quiet Sunday afternoon; the air was cold and there were flurries of snow, but inside, the sunlight cascaded in the windows, and set a perfect scene for the yoga photos. Above (clockwise from the top left), Kath does sukhasana “easy pose” with her hands in Anjali mudra “offering gesture”. This is the way that we begin and end each class. In the next photo, she demonstrates a full body pose called eka pada svanasana, or “one legged dog pose”. This pose is a preparatory pose for hip opening and also works on upper body strength and balance. The next is the recognizable adho mukha svanasana “downward facing dog pose”. The final pose is utthita parsvakonasana “extended side angle pose” which also opens the hips, as well as the shoulders and chest.
Just a note on the use of Sanskrit terms: the style of yoga that I practice (Anusara) honors the tradition by using these names while also realizing that not everything can translate word for word. Additionally, Sanskrit can be the universal language of yoga (similar to how Latin is used for biology in Linnean taxonomy) no matter where you are in the world. It’s a nice fit. Plus, the language is phonetic, and if you sound it out, it is pronounced exactly as it looks. I love learning more Sanskrit as I study yoga.
While this photo project was a true joy to do, Kath must have felt that she wanted to give something back~ and while there was absolutely no need to do so, it was a pleasant surprise when she presented this lovely yarn to me this past weekend:
She says that this bulky yarn is the perfect tonic for my small needle/fingering weight projects of late. I look forward to casting on for a bulky cowl or hat on size 15 needles once I finally finish my Olympic sweater