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Week 5, March 27, Therapeutic yoga for ourselves, and Sara Strother’s version of Durga – What did you learn?

March 28, 2013


Next adjustment clinic:

  • April 17

Geri will host a practice class for anyone available on:

  • Monday, April 1, 1:45-3:00 pm
  • Thursday, April 11, 1:45 – 3:00 pm
  • Monday, April 15, 1:45-3:00 pm

The class format is open to whatever folks want to do, i.e, group practice, or someone can teach, we could alternate teachers and have a few teach one class, etc.  What’s your preference?

Class was smaller this week – spring break.  We started with a guided pranayama, inhaling with a hold at the top for several breath cycles; followed by exhaling with a hold at the bottom for several breath cycles, followed by a hold at the top and bottom of the breath cycle several times.  This simple breathing exercise was helpful to me because I’m always looking for simple ways to add variety to breathing exercises.  First we had a discussion about how to keep ourselves healthy and what to do when we do have an injury.  Discussion highlights:

  • If you have not watched The Fuzz Speech, take a minute and watch – you’ll learn so much.
  • Regular body work, massage, chiropractic, etc. can help us stay healthy and prevent injury don’t wait until you have an injury to get body work.  Maybe you can do a barter or trade body work for a yoga class.
  •  If you do get an injury, be sure to rest the injury.  Pushing through it can prolong healing and create a chronic situation.
  • Geri talked about the importance of treating the injury with ice as soon as possible.
  • When we’re doing adjustments – think about being ambidextrous – or not doing the adjustment the same way each time to prevent repetitive injuries.
  • Physical therapy (Geri likes band work) can be very helpful – it takes discipline.
  • Yoga therapeutics can help, but sometimes we need to treat the injury outside of yoga.
  • Some discussed injuries they were dealing with, or injuries their students were dealing with.

Sara Strother


Guest speaker, Sara Strother, joined the group to tell a story about the Hindu goddess Mahadevi – who later acquired the name Durga.  You may recognize Durga as the female warrior with 10 arms often shown riding a lion or tiger.  She carries a different weapon in each of her 10 hands used for slaying demons.  Her name means “the inaccessible” or “the invincible.”

  • The goddess Mahadevi – takes on so many different forms all of which reflect her husband.
  • Her name changes based on her situation and interpretation and can get confusing.
  • Sara chose Durga as a way to focus on her fierce persona to exemplify the voice of the teacher and being in the seat of power.
  • Durga’s possesses the ability to change forms which is a characteristic we need as yoga teachers as we move from studio to studio, class to class and have to change as the needs of the students change.
  • Durga is yellow, rides a tiger from the Himalaya’s.
  • She’s born to kill (yikes), born of fire
  • She is associated with slaying the buffalo demon whose flaw is that the only person who could ever slay him is a woman.
  • The gods give Durga something to go in each hand for fighting the demons.
  • Reading the story is like watching an epic action movie – pages and pages of battles and conflicts, 100 million chariots, 120 billion of elephants, etc.
  • Durga turns the battle with a mighty roar that kills the majority of the soldiers.
  • I got a little confused with the names at this point, but I think Sara said – Devi and Durga are fighting the final battle – Durga spits an arrow into his breast and finally kills him.  From this victory she acquires his name –
  • Why is this relevant to yoga teachers – the demon is always going to test your skills – even just dealing with changes in your yoga schedule, or personal demons, am I good enough to be teaching this class? – we need to see things as they change and skillfully step into different situations.
  • Through her skill or action, Durga found her name – How do we find our name as a yoga teacher through our skill/action?  How do we want to be known as yoga teachers – how do we put ourselves out to our students?
  • Durga has multiple weapons – as members of this class, we can use each other as our weapons, we can support each other and use each other for support for tools when we need help.



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