Sunday, August 15, 2010

I am in the air somewhere between Palm Beach and Houston en route to San Diego. Getting ready to participate in a 2nd series ashtanga yoga training with Tim Miller. I have to admit, I am very excited. My experiences practicing with Tim in the past have been nothing short of amazing. Tim is such a wealth of knowledge and experience that it inspires me greatly to experience the yoga near him. Tam and I were living in San Diego when we decided to go and study Ashtanga with Guruji in India. At that point we were unaware that Tim was so close by. I think now that perhaps that was meant to be. Had Tam and I gone to his space and saw how serious and devoted his students were perhaps we would have been intimidated to go to India. Maybe it would of felt like were weren’t ready or something. Truly, we were so green going to Mysore we were besides ourselves upon entering the shala there. Yet we had travelled so far there was no chickening out at that point. I sometimes ask myself, why, what would be so intimidating about practicing yoga with guruji in india if seen from the eyes of someone who hasn’t been there. Personally, I think that the level of practice there seemed so beyond what I thought was possible I wasn’t sure if I had what it took to dive that deep. Looking back, what a wonderful experience. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. When we were there and we told people we were from San Diego their immediate response was, “oh, you are one of Tim’s students.” We new at that point, based on how much respect and adoration the community, guruji included, had for Tim that we were destined to study with Tim when we returned home. That being said, I will never forget my first day in Tim’s shala on E street in Encinitas. He was so kind, asked my name and welcomed me very warmly. I felt like I found a second home. My kukkutasana was so bad. Kukkutasana is rooster pose and entails deep hip flexibility to sit in lotus and then even more to get the arms to slide through some so called space in between. I had been struggling with this and was truly surprised Sharath (guruji’s grandson) let me get by with it. Basically, I was painfully aware that it needed some work. I remember Tim coming over, looking at me with one of those looks that say, “what is this?” He sat down, and adjusted me so deep into the pose so elegantly and painless, rolled me around 8 times and then popped me up into the pose. The feeling of excitement I had was so overwhelming. Somehow the impossible became possible. I was beside myself. Something so simple really. When I break it down the only thing that happened from the outside was my body moved into a certain shape. On the inside I felt as if I had been shown or introduced to something so powerful that I knew I would forever continue this practice. I had the feeling that through this practice perhaps I could achieve some peace and contentment. So now with all of that being said, 6 years later, I am heading back for more. I want to express my unending love to my wife for being willing to encourage me and give to me the time to pursue this and also to all of my family and friends who continue to be so supportive. Also to everyone who continues to practice. Any and all practice. Todd McLaughlin

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