Tapping In

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Yesterday I ran into a woman I know from RISD who had just moved into the area and had a practice of Ashtanga Yoga.  She is now moving WAY closer to Providence and wanting to know about my upcoming teaching schedule.  I sadly told her that Mike and I were moving, but I was currently teaching a Mysore 5 day intensive and that I would be back in October offering the week again.  She paused and asked me if I “tap people out?”  I explained that I teach in the Mysore Style which has the student slowly progressing through the posture so, no there is no tapping out.

I remember one of the first times my teacher, David Keil, came to the Philly area an Ashtanga Yoga studio in New Jersey asked him to come and teach a led primary.  Word quickly got around that this traditional Authorized teacher was coming to steer the ship and in fact would be “tapping” students out.  2 students showed up to this normally full class because  they were afraid that would be asked to stop somewhere in primary series.

As I watched the hard-working group of students come into full bloom this Thursday morning I couldn’t help but think out that commonly used phrase tapping out.  Today I watched student embody the opposite, TAPPING IN!

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2 Responses to Tapping In

  1. Aja says:

    I sent you one of my students – she is interested in Ashtanga yoga – I wonder if she made it to you?

  2. Frank says:

    I was afraid of such things too for a while. It’s as if the only things anyone ever hears about Ashtanga are the absolute strictest rules. (I will note that I didn’t even see Sharath stop anyone in led Primary in NY–understanding, though, that things in Mysore may be different than when he’s on tour, and that he does “tap people out” in led 2nd.) Sometimes I still feel that’s what I mostly hear, and I often find myself combating misperceptions…sometimes I feel like there’s an Ashtanga mosquito that continually tries to suck the blood out of our community by “biting” prospective students and scaring them off–I often feel like I need to wield a special fly swatter so I can bash the falsehoods (sorry if my analogy is not conducive to ahimsic thoughts…).

    That said, before I finished learning Primary, I dropped into a led class and hurt myself doing something that was beyond my regular practice. Of course, I’ve also hurt myself doing something that I was well past in my practice. People do stupid things all the time; you just have to learn, over time and with experience, how not to hurt yourself–as I was saying just a few days ago, someone could easily do a year’s worth of blogs on how not to hurt yourself… 🙂

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