This post is a little shout out for two of my favourite yoginis in the Twitterdom/blogosphere, both of whom I hope to meet and study with IRL (in real life) at some point…
That’s right, Imma talkin’ ‘bout the take-no-prisoners, expansive and interesting Linda Sama and Cora Wen.
Both these lovely ladies identify as Yoga Crones – a sisterhood I’ll hopefully get to join one day. I see them as celebrating womanhood in a way that isn’t about having perfect hair and nails, but instead, knowing who they are and inhabiting themselves fully – body and mind.
The other cool thing about these bust-an-asana chicas is that The Magazine of Yoga has done interviews with them both – it’s one of the handful of online yoga magazines/journals I like reading. They are both fierce and fabulous, and not afraid to speak their truth!
Here’s a little more about these Yoga Crones…
Linda and I have been blog buddies for a while, and we came *this close* to meeting in person only recently. Unfortunately the Bali retreat Linda was planning fell through. Bummer, that. Never mind – it’ll happen!
Also, Linda and I are Ladies of Kali – not a choice you get to make (kinda hard to explain that!), but having a Kali patroness membership card makes you one helluva interesting/fiery/madcap person to know!
Linda recently stopped blogging as much as she used to but with a little encouragement, she’ll hopefully get back in the game sooner rather than later.
I LOVE Linda.
Linda’s interview talks about her Vinyasa Krama/KYM style of teaching, and how this involves slower but repetitive movements. This “different” style of yoga offers another experience of yoga that isn’t just about mastering arm balances and getting your asana kicked. Which works for me.
I also LOVE Cora Wen. On my other Twitter account, Cora and I have recently been sharing our love for tea – especially green tea. She even shared her favourite brand of Genmaicha and HELLO, they have a store in my city! I’m endlessly grateful, even if I’m now a total Genmaicha addict. Oh well. ;)
The sharing of information about tea – that’s the kind of generosity and love you get from interacting with Cora, even if it’s only virtual and she couldn’t pick you out of a line up.
Cora is an avid Twitter user, sharing all kinds of yogic wisdom on the wire. I think she does it just because she enjoys sharing.
I adore everything Cora has to say in her interview because as a woman it’s all very relatable. She’s clearly very present within her body, and makes no apologies for not having the typical uber-thin “yoga body” popularised in the media! As a yoga teacher, she’s instructional, inspirational and generous with her knowledge. I especially loved part two of the interview, where Cora describes her journey as a yogi from a type-A hardcore practitioner to something softer and far more encompassing.
Cora also describes how her teaching style has evolved and this is excellent for someone like me.
How reading these Yoga Crones helps me as a yogi and a teacher
A few weeks ago, the class I taught was just two people. Usually it’s busy-busy and perhaps the Easter break put a spanner in the works, who knows?
This never bothers me – I’m happy teaching to one or twenty people. And as it happened, I found myself having to break down something that I’ve always considered to be very simple – the full yogic breath.
Since I always encourage questions, I was happy when my of my students commented that it “feels weird” doing lower abdominal breathing. I wondered how many other people I’ve guided through this practice that have felt the same way: lower abdominal breathing is hard if you’re not accustomed to it.
So the class took a bit of a side-step as we spoke about one of the lesser known goals of yoga – to learn to sense your own body and energy. To develop sensitivity. We’re so used to using our bodies in certain ways only, and to gain sensitivity we need to practice. It’s that simple.
But then, it’s not so simple after all because developing that ability, via using your hands to help you sense what your body is doing – can lead to a greater capacity for awareness of physical and energetic sensation. And this is where yoga really begins to take off.
So we talked about that for a while and workshopped the breathing actions before moving on.
To me, that’s a class I’m glad to have taught. Like Cora, I see teaching yoga as an honour and a privilege. Like Linda, I’m not afraid to slow my classes down.
Sometimes I still can’t believe that it’s me up there, teaching people. And I know I’m so very lucky because for every class I teach, I am the student, too.
Anyway, I guess the point of this love-in is to direct you to Linda and Cora’s Mag of Yoga interviews and to point out how grateful I am to have connected with these awesome Yoga Crones via the interwebs.
To paraphrase Linda (quoting someone else, I think): if you don’t pass on the teachings, then you’re no better than a thief. And these ladies are Queens of Sharing. *hat tip* to you both!