I went to a workshop yesterday with David Swenson. He was teaching a day for teachers which was called ''Tools, Talents and Techniques for Teaching''. The workshop was about how to be able to give safe hands on adjustments and suitable modifications to make the practice suitable to anyone, regardless of age, ability or restriction.
David Swenson began practicing yoga in 1969 at the age of 13. His older brother Doug was his first teacher. They practiced Hatha yoga from whatever books they could find. David's introduction to Ashtanga yoga came in 1973 when he met David Williams and Nancy Gilgoff in Encinitas, California. In 1975, David and Nancy brought K. Pattabhi Jois to the U.S. for the first time, and David Swenson was fortunate enough to be there. He made his first trip to Mysore in 1977. He is one of a very small number of people that have learned the full Ashtanga system as it was originally taught by K. Pattabhi Jois. David Swenson is recognised today as one of the world's foremost practitioners and instructors of Ashtanga yoga. He has produced a wide selection of videos, posters and other yoga resources and continues to run Teacher Trainings and workshops throughout Europe and all over the World.
I originally trained in the Ashtanga system with David 12 years ago. Not only was it wonderful to see him and experience his teaching again, but I was struck by how youthful he looked and how he appeared to have hardly aged in that time. He still manages to maintain a regular practice and his strength and body awareness is inspirational to watch.
Throughout my Ashtanga training , and for around 7 years, I religiously practiced the Ashtanga ''Primary Series'' 5 days a week. I remember how strong I felt, and how it so influenced my state of mind. I have an injury to my left ankle and it restricts my practice to a certain degree. Maybe I have used this as my excuse to discontinue the practice? On top of this I was teaching a considerable amount and trying to be a Mum and wife. I now run a Yoga studio and time seems to be even more limited.
I tell people every day in class to take time for themselves and that Yoga is a journey which we only learn more about ourselves through maintaining a self practice. Time to listen to my own words !
So I left work today and have set my mat out ready to go into the studio and do my self practice of the Primary series. I am making it realistic and will start with a practice of 3 days a week.
Thank you, David, for inspiring me, and making me want to go back to my practice. The Yoga practice which had a huge impact on my life in so many ways.
See you on the mat !!