Friday, February 24, 2006

A Small World & Mechanics Too

Yesterday I was (I am sad to report) NOT on the beach in Mexico, but very sneakily checking my email in the office at the Hotel Lagunita in Yelapa. Out at the desk I heard a nice lady come up to Senor Clemente and ask about "the yoga group."

You never know what people have on their minds...

So I called out and invited her to come back and talk to me.

It was Karen, a student of mine from years ago when I taught yoga full time in Northern Virginia.

She was on a flight a few days earlier and sat next to someone who was coming to Yelapa for our Experience Paradise yoga retreat. When Karen asked who was teaching the week-long yoga retreat, she was surprised to learn that it was me, someone she knew! So she dropped by to see me a few days later with a friend.

What an unusual connection to make in a completely different part of the world.

I want to let you in a just a brief part of our conversation. Karen said to me, "because of you, I can step forward from downward dog pose into lunge."

If you practice sun salutations, you know this is a pretty common move, but it can be very challenging for beginning students.

She told me she was about to give up on it when I said to her, "It's not about strength. It's more about the mechanics."

She kept that in mind as she practiced, and soon she realized she was strong enough to do it. She simply needed the time to develop the skill to bring the leg forward.

Had she convinced herself she was too weak, she probably wouldn't have tried it again.

I know I've written about this before, very recently, in fact. But you can't beat a real live example. It illustrates the point better than anything else.

So I'm reminding you today, strength matters. And you'll get stronger as you practice yoga. But it's not the only thing. You are probably strong enough today to do many poses you think are beyond you.

What's missing is the skill, the training of your nervous system to do an effective action, that you've simply never done before.

That's why a yoga teacher is so important. Books can show you alignment. And books can inspire. But books, tapes, and podcasts can't give you feedback and teach you subtle action that give you access to many of the poses from which you will benefit.

Stick with your practice. And get guidance and feedback from an experienced teacher. Skillful action will come.

You can read my recent Daily Yoga Tip called "Not Strong Enough" at

Don't just read about it. Get up. Experience it. Experience yoga!

Kevin Perry

p.s., The Sanskrit word of the day from my last Daily Yoga Tip was chandra. Chandra means moon, as in ardha chandrasana, half moon pose. Lucas our host here at Hotel Lagunita in Yelapa told me earlier this week that this February has been an unusual one here. He says it's been hotter, and early in the morning when the sun comes up, you can still see the full big moon in the sky. I hope you'll plan now to join us next year for our adventure in Yelapa. Please email me today at if you'd like me to send you information when we get our dates set for 2007.

p.p.s., Today's Sanskrit word of the day is bhujanga. I'll tell you what it means next time. I'll give you a clue. I thought about this word today as a looked across the table to see one member of our yoga group open her mouth wide to take a big bite of the world-famous lemon merangue pie made by Augustina, the Yelapa pie lady. I said, "look at her, she can drop her jaw like a python to get that food in!" Get it? Pie-thon!

p.p.p.s, When we get back to the U.S. we'll be flying off to Annapolis, Maryland for the Experience Sanskrit workshop at Golden Heart Yoga on Saturday March 4th. The bad news's sold out. There aren't any more open slots. The good news is...we're staying an extra day to conduct a 2-hour asana workshop on Sunday. Join us. To participate, click over to and register today. (If you want to get on the wait list for a place in the Experience Sanskrit workshop, call Golden Heart Yoga. Lynn and Jenny will be glad to add you to the list, just in case someone can't make it at the last minute.)

Come be with us on April 8 in Downers Grove, IL. We'll be at Yoga Among Friends starting at 1 pm. Register at See you there!

Copyright 2006.
All rights reserved, Mo Yoga LLC.
Kevin Perry
Mo Yoga LLC
905 Eastland Plaza Suite B, #106
Jefferson City, MO 65101
(573) 680-6737


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