Primary Friday: Cumulonimbus

I've had a nice couple of days.  Mornings have been especially lovely.  This time of year, the sun shines in my eastern windows from eightish to eleven, casting patterned, morphing shadows on the floor.  This is my favorite time of day to practice, when the contrast of the light and shadows is most stark.  The shapes revealed through the slatted blinds shift and move, and disappear and reappear as the sun yields to the passing clouds, of which I have taken more notice these past few days.

Even against the vastness of the Texas sky, they appear to be bigger than usual, huge and billowing and dense like giant, transient worlds.  With glowing white caps and dark underbellies, they seem to slow, then hurry on, as omens do.

Tonight is the first round with Matthew Sweeney.  We'll be learning the restorative "moon sequence" which he alludes to in his book as a useful alternative to a traditional ashtanga practice on moon days, or when one is feeling overworked or unwell.  I am hoping to learn the sequence well enough to practice it next Tuesday during the morning Mysore session, which Sweeney will be teaching despite the full moon.

Since tonight's practice will be gentle, I did Primary this morning.  The sequence felt foreign.  This has been a long week.  I kept things moving at a pretty good clip, wasted minimal time tweaking postures and spent more time refining the breath.  I felt the difference in Padmasana, which has been strangely difficult these days -- not the posture itself, but the stillness.  For weeks, my eyeballs have threatened to shoot out from my head and those ten breaths have seemed an unending drudgery.  But today, the eyes were still and the breath was long.

I am looking forward to spending the whole weekend with Sweeney and the local Ashtangis.  Though the first session is less than two hours away, it has not quite yet sunken in how much yoga I am about to do, or with whom.  In my denial, I had a late, large lunch.  Wish me the best.


  1. Megan,

    I have to say I'm a bit jealous. At times I hate that I live so far away from popular cities. I would love to attend classes like that held by top notch people others only dream of meeting. :sigh: I hope it all goes well. Is there a sequence sheet anywhere for the Moon Sequence?


    1. Hi Brianna,

      I am extremely fortunate to be living on the Ashtanga "circuit", so to speak, especially since I can so rarely afford to travel. Swenson has done a lot of teaching here. Tim Miller, Tim Feldman, and Kino were here last fall (both of whom I missed), and now Sweeney. I've been told Nancy Gilgoff and I believe Richard Freeman, also, have both taught here in the past. They may not come every year, but if I sit tight and wait, they all seem to make it to Austin eventually. (Fingers crossed for Nancy and Richard Freeman to come back soon!)

      I don't think Sweeney offers a cheat sheet for the moon sequence, but apparently he does offer it on his DVD. We practiced it tonight. It is very mellow, with lots of lunges, gentle backbends, and hip openers.

    2. DVD aye? Well I might have to acquire that and add it to my library of things to watch or read. I could use a sequence like that every now and then.

      As far as finding workshops, do you simply look through the studios around Austin to find out when people are going to be teaching or is there a site you look at?

  2. I've just come back from a workshop that made me think along the same lines. There are lots of teachers in the next city over from where I am. Just a little over an hour away, so not too far for a 3 hour workshop, but definitely too far for morning mysore before work!

    But on reflection, I think it's a good thing. I'm lucky to have a teacher I've 'clicked' with in my own smaller city, and I think it's good that those other teachers are kind of 'special occasions', to help shake things up a little. I wonder if having more teachers on a regular basis would be unsettling for me.

    I also did the moon sequence today, for the first time, with one of Sweeney's students. I loved it.

    Hmm. My comments always end up a bit 'me me me'! Basically what I meant to say was:
    Megan - love your blog, love the way you write, and lovely to read that very first sentence. Long may it continue.
    Brianna - really hope you get to practice with some of those teachers soon. Hopefully one day a city visit and a visit from the right teacher will coincide.