It is taking me some time to process everything that I learned from Todd Norian's workshop last weekend and I was eager to apply it my regular practice to see what had changed. That is one of the benefits of going to a workshop - bringing all that new insight and experience back to your regular life.
Anusara, what Todd Norian teaches and practices, and Ashtanga have different alignment cues so incorporating my new knowledge means sifting it through my poses and practice to see what I come up with. Playing the edge of the pose - and from that playing the edge of myself and my perceptions and my limitations. It also is a way for me to see how the different branches and approaches to yoga can work together - you don't get it this way, so try it that way...
There are certain key phrases that I heard all weekend - puff your kidneys, melt your heart, draw back your shoulder blades, shins out, thighs in, hollow your groin, radiate your heart, tuck your tail bone, hug the mid line, soften your skin and create a core like a diamond. Um WOW ... for the first few hours I had no idea what this guy was talking about. I felt like my body was moving all over the place and I was craving a vinyasa to put me right... but alas no vinyasa in Anusara so I just had to feel what this guy was telling me. I had to shift my resistance to surrender and open myself up to a new way of looking at and approaching asanas.
And them WHAM... I got it. I finally got what hugging the mid line meant and when you play with the different ways of each teacher you encounter that they are all leading you to the same place in the end. Last night during my ashtanga practice I heard Todd's voice in my head and I listened to it. I combined his phrases with the cues and alignment tips from my own teacher here and things began to click... literally, my neuromuscular connections are starting to click and recognize one another and I was able to go deeper, and approach poses that I was resistant to before. My muscles were engaged, my energy was reaching outward and I was hugging the mid line.
The trick is to stay there all the time, throughout life and its challenges. To stay strong in your core and flexible to what is going on outside of you, moving through life with strength and purpose while you radiate serious love outward. That is when the real work begins.. yoga asanas are the fun part.