Sunday, February 21, 2010

Recharging with Todd Norian Workshops

I am spending the weekend in therapeutic intensive workshops with Todd Norian, an insightful Anusara teacher who is visiting my home town of St. Paul, Minnesota. He came in the nick of time, when I was in greater need of revitalization than I had realized. As I sit in the workshops, I am drinking up the inspiration and information like a woman who forgot to bring her water bottle on a long hike. It feels deeply nourishing.

Of course, I recharge on my yoga mat each time I practice, and with my friends each time I reconnect with them. But it has been a hectic semester crunch, when more and more tasks are thrown on my plate, more budget cuts threaten the Women’s Studies Program in which I teach, and stress and anxiety permeate many of the students and faculty with whom I work. I feel like I have been able to remain level but not soar, stay steady but not access the deep joy that allows me to open and thrive.

So participating in twelve hours of intensive Anusara workshops this weekend is more invigorating than the breath of spring that is beginning to infuse the Minnesota air. I drink in Todd’s energy and humor, supported in the laughter and warmth of the other participants. I refill the wellspring of knowledge, learning how to help people with knee, shoulder, or hip injuries. As my knowledge deepens, so does my joy.

Though it may seem, to some, like work to allocate my weekend to workshops, the time is spent reconnecting to the energy that allows me to center and thrive. It doesn’t just quench my thirst, it nourishes me and surrounds me with the intrinsic goodness that clarifies how I want to be in the world. As Todd reminded us, the Tantric philosophy of Anusara reminds us that joy is our birthright, and that “life is not a problem to be solved but rather an experience to be savored.”

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