A few days until my assessment

I’ve been a bit of a stranger on WordPress the past few months. Mainly in part because I am juggling teaching and my full time job, caregiving, and of course preparing for my Junior Intermediate I assessment this Friday and Saturday. I will be flying to the venue in Los Angeles.

At one point in Iyengar assessments you have to resign yourself to knowing what you know, being able to do what you can do, an hope the assessors see that you are working intelligently even if you can’t attain all of the poses on the syllabus.

There are a few poses I struggle with on this syllabus, but the one that has been really getting my goat is Eka Hasta Bhujasana, or one arm shoulder pose (it not called elephant trunk pose!!!!).  It has taken a village of Iyengar teachers to teach me this pose, and I am still having trouble with execution. I am a bit girthy which contributes to my difficulty, but also my long arms don’t seem allow me to get the torque I need to lift my buttocks off the ground.

My mentoring teachers Ray and Shelley, and their more advanced student Laurie have been very encouraging and getting me to try different strategies. Even Stephanie Tencer in Toronto gave me some good tips.

I feel in the Iyengar system that the poses that give you the most problems are the ones you can teach the best. Because you literally explore 100 ways to do them, or at least some action pertaining to them. So on Friday afternoon when I get my “sealed envelope” of six poses, I shouldn’t dread it if Eka Hasta Bhujasana is on the list. I won’t have the greatest demo, but I sure will give my students a plentitude of options to get into the pose.

Many blessings to you all!

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26 thoughts on “A few days until my assessment

  1. babycrow

    Wishing you the best for your assessment, Michael. I have been thinking of you lots recently and wondered how you were doing, knowing this was approaching. You have put all the effort in, now’s just the demonstration of all your acquired wisdom. Sending positive vibrations from UK x

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    1. yogibattle Post author

      Thanks bc! I’ve been missing you and my other fellow blog peeps. It has been a lesson in vairagyam to not blog for a month in a half. But I also feel it has been healthy to let the thoughts repopulate. I’m sure once this is over my fingers will start “vomiting’ words again 🙂

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  2. mishedup

    Good luck Michael…I love the reframe of maybe not being able to do it but being able to teach the hell out of it!! That’s what counts for sure; keep that attitude and you’re going to be great.
    And welcome to L.A.for a minute….my stomping and teaching grounds

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    1. yogibattle Post author

      Lol, I miss your mished up comments! Your comment reminds my of my late grandfather’s old joke about how to make holy water. Updated for this situation: how do you make an asana divine? Teach the hell out of it!

      Many blessings to you!

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  3. Aziani Ismail

    Aloha Michael, it’s been awhile since I spoke to you. All my best wishes and thoughts for your assessment. You are right..every difficult posture we face is a great learning chance for us. I really miss having the teacher training with you, Ray, Shelley and Laurie! I will think of you this weekend. Good luck!! Azi

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  4. ambfoxx

    I agree–the poses that don’t come easily are the ones I best understand how to teach. As for the one you struggle with–so do I. I can only sustain it for a few seconds. (And I thought having short arms made it hard.) You’ll be brilliant at your assessment, because you think about your students and how to teach them.

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    Reply
    1. yogibattle Post author

      Thanks Amber! I will be going to NM to see my folks after the assessment. Will be nice to eat some Hatch chile and some pasole this time of year. I’m sure it is staring to get a bit nippy out.

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  5. nadialeloup

    Good luck with the assessment! Funnily, I have always thought that my short arms were hindering me in this pose (since there is not much height to lift the buttocks off from the floor…). I guess we always complain about what we have!

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