Tuesday, December 6, 2011


October 17, 2011 - 2:15am
Getting on my bike, I turn on my handlebar mounted video camera. This morning, I am recording my 35 minute bike ride to Houston's Yoga One studios where for the last three weeks I have been assisting the Forrest Yoga Teacher Training. I have four more days until I return home to Arizona, thus completing my participation in all three of Ana's 2011 trainings. Supreme honour pervading feelings of excitement and nostalgia make up the emotional cocktail of the moment. As scenes of Houston’s nightlife flash by, I pedal forth, considering my experiences and achievements. Thinking back seven months to when I was in Boston, assisting the training for the first time, I remember where my practice was then and fully appreciate how I’ve progressed. Rolling into Yoga One, I arrive right when Ana does. We meet at the door and enter at 2:55am. Our first order of business is to practice the class that Ana will teach at 7am. The mix of an extremely early yoga practice following an invigorating bike ride proved to be a strong amplifier of a healthy relationship betweeen body and mind. Arriving at the studio by bike every morning, my body had already a good physical and aerobic experience, but my mind was still pretty chilled out. This meant that my practice was free from all mental baggage and excelling in the poses and transitions became easier and easier. It’s a very surreal process… very dreamlike. It is like being on a slackline. You don’t fully acknowledge your accomplishments until after they are over. During, all that exists is pure presence. There is no room for excess thinking. All that exists is feeling and doing. This cozy relationship of the think and the feel enabled me to experience several “quantum leaps” in my practice. The first of which was in a morning practice during the Los Angeles training. I was in bridge with a leg up. My eyes were closed as I rode the waves of sensation in my legs and pelvis. Suddenly I hear Ana’s voice, very close over me. She's cueing me as she performs a new hands on assist that I had never experienced. My eyes open automatically for only enough time to take in the scene and then they shut back down as I receive the assist. Through three or four breaths, Ana takes my hamstrings into release and my leg travels near effortlessly into much deeper flexion over my torso. With my next breath, I feel something like a knock in my sacrum... like a latch flung open on a shutter bowing under the wind's pressure. In such a short amount of time, I was able to delve much deeper in the pose with the right focus and Ana’s assist. In Houston, armed with the bike ride/ early practice combo, I was able to provoke many similar quantum leaps with breath alone. The most notable is lowering from handstand into astavakrasana. Now, that I practice during more sunlit hours, replicating that “early morning mind” feeling dramatically helps me through mental hurdles in the pose and also in life. Through out my nearly 60 days with Ana in 2011, my ability to teach, train and be trained went through many quantum leaps.

Ana's trainings are just as much human training as they are teacher training and those experiences surely don't end when the training does. Assisting all of 2011's trainings has been a springboard for both my practice and my teaching. In closing I will say that anyone who has the means and the desire to work with Ana in any form should jump on the chance to do so. Go for it, and then go deeper.

by Chip Fieberg

1 comment:

  1. Chip, as I read your words I marvel at the depth of your insight, physical and metaphysical. I stand in awe of your progress and the peace you are achieving. As someone who can't touch his toes I applaud your perseverance and discipline as you explore the reaches of your physical and mental boundaries. Keep up the good work my son