A Weekend w/ Nancy Stechert

Nancy Stechert

Source: Internet

Source: Internet

Last weekend, Telluride Yoga Center hosted Nancy Stechert for a weekend workshop. 

For those of you who never heard of Nancy, she began practicing yoga in 1976 and holds a Senior Intermediate level certificate in the Iyengar Method, founded several Yoga Schools worldwide and has been a valuable member of the Iyengar Association. Nancy lives in Hotchkiss, CO and teaches a regular schedule at Hotchkiss Yoga Tree. 

I. The Body

Have you ever tried to move your femur bone upwards without moving your pelvis? 
Have you tried to solely engage and spread your calf muscles without any movement of the foot? 

During the workshop, Nancy went back to the absolute foundations of simply standing straight. Just like a surgeon, she dissected the movements of the body during asana practice and certainly opened my eyes towards a deeper understanding of the function of each posture. My eyes were opened towards an acknowledgment of habits we cultivate during our personal practice and how we need to change that. 
From working towards strong limbs, in order to support forward or back bends in a healthy way, to cultivating an open mind and consciousness that reaches into every cell and allows  the practitioner to practice yoga in “bliss”, meditative state during asana practice. 

II. The Mind. 

Image: Internet

Image: Internet

“Quiet the mind. Quiet the body.” -- Awakening Consciousness
Start by sitting in Virasana for an up to 10 minutes to begin with, keeping an ellogated spine by moving your sit bones towards the knees to lengthen the lower back and maintain a healthy curve in the spine. After several minutes deep sensations in the body will arise: either your knees will start to scream, maybe your lower back, maybe your feet and toes.
By then, it is most likely that you’re having an intense dialogue with yourself. Can you maintain your focus on the breath? Can you quiet the dialogue down, like you would if your kid was screaming?

Have you ever paid attention to the mental dialogue that is going on in your head? 
Have you ever wondered why it talks in your head?
Have you ever asked yourself how much of this dialogue is important?

Nancy mentioned during this workshop that “we become attached to what is in our minds, none of which is true”. As Michael A. Singer writes in his book “The Untethered Soul” “there is nothing more important to true growth than realising that you are not the voice of the mind - you are the one who hears it. If you don’t understand this, you will try to figure out which of the many things it is saying is really you. People go through so many changes in the name of “trying to find myself”. They want to discover which of these voices, which of these aspects of their personality, is who they really are. The answer is simple: NONE OF THEM.

Image: Internet

III. "Yoga begins with listening."* 

As yoga is the connection of the body & the mind (amongst other things), understanding the mind is the doorway to the depths of your being and it allows you to begin the amazing inner journey. If this aspect of the practice is left out, I believe yoga is merely a workout; a 1.5 hour stretching routine, some may even call it circus.
Yoga is so much more than forward bends, backbends and leg-behind-the-head-postures. When leaving the ego outside and moving away from just postures/asanas, Yoga truly has the power to transform your life by opening our minds, awakening our consciousness.
t can be your tool for spiritual awakening. 

BKS Iyengar (Source: Internet).

BKS Iyengar (Source: Internet).

As yoga is the connection of the body & the mind (amongst other things), understanding the mind is the doorway to the depths of your being and it allows you to begin the amazing inner journeyIf this aspect of the practice is left out, I believe yoga is merely a workout; a 1.5 hour stretching routine, some may even call it circus.
Yoga is so much more than forward bends, backbends and leg-behind-the-head-postures. When leaving the ego outside and moving away from achieving the most difficult postures/asanas, Yoga truly has the power to transform your life by opening the mind to our consciousness and lead to spiritual awakening. 

WITH GRATITUDE FOR ALL TEACHERS & TEACHINGS.
 


Nancy Stechert, Hotchkiss Yoga Tree
Michael A. Singer, "The Untethered Soul"; available on AMAZON
Jiddu Krishnamurti, "Total Freedom"; available on AMAZON
BKS Iyengar
*"The Mirror of Yoga - Awakening the Intelligence of Body & Mind", Richard Freeman


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