Tim Miller and Encinitas

We spent a lovely Labor Day weekend in San Diego with my two sisters and my fantastic brother-in-law (read 5 adults to one toddler makes for a fantastic ratio for all involved. Walter gets someone to constantly play with and no adult gets too tired. I just realized that it takes the energy of 5 adults to keep up with one toddler comfortably, oh my goooooodness).  Then we headed slightly north to Encinitas to hang out at the beach and practice with Tim Miller.  Did you know that the beach has a fantastic playground?  Walter was stoked!

But back to the yoga….Alex and I have never practiced with Tim Miller.  So I thought since we were already down south, we should stay a couple of extra days and go to his studio while we also enjoyed Encinitas.  Yesterday was our first day and due to the mysore two step that Alex and I have to perform to watch Walter and practice too, I showed up at the studio first to get the lay of the land and practice first.  The schedule online indicated that the class started at 7 a.m. (ok, I admit this didn’t endear me to it already, I mean who starts so late? Don’t people have to work here?) and was a led class.  Ok, I thought here we go.  So I signed in and waited a bit for the students who were meditating to finish.  Then I walked in, set down my mat and began the ritual of getting set up.  Part way through the ritual, the guy next to me comes up and says, “Um, that is where Tim usually puts his mat so if you wanted to move over, that would be ok.” Oh dear, so I move over.  Then Tim comes in and puts his mat down, chats with some of the students and then we lackadaisically come to samasthitihi (or समस्थिति Alex would like to insert) and chant the opening chant.  I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this.  In my experience, led classes generally start with a barked “samasthitihi” followed by the chant.  Then Tim says “A” and begins to do the sun salutations with us, but he doesn’t count the vinyasa at all.  He says, “5” when he is done with the fifth breath in downward facing dog, but other than that there is no counting at all.  The series continues this way with him calling the poses and continuing to do them with us, but no counting of the vinyasas at all.  Ok, I thought somewhat unconventional, but I had to give him credit for doing the series with us.  The downside is that there were no adjustments at all.

Then at utthita hasta padangusthasana HE STARTED CHANGING THE SERIES!!!  He inserted some sort of hold your foot with both hands before the last part of leg being out straight.  I tried to breathe deeply, but I just wanted to scream, ” THAT DOESN’T GO THERE!!”  He inserted several more poses at weird points that I have never done in primary before, but I continued to try to breathe and just concentrate on my practice and do whatever pose he wanted us to do.  Then we got to nivasana, and he put handstands in between each one and at that point, I just lost it.  I want to turn to him and say, “Excuse me, handstands aren’t in primary, I think they aren’t until third series or something so what the hell do you think having beginners attempt to do handstands?” Instead, I just sat there and smiled (smiling is my coping mechanism when I just can’t take what is going on around me) while the class did handstands in between their nivasanas.  He continued to insert things in here and there including doing something like 8 urdhva dhanurasanas (I gave up after 4) with some sort of chant I hadn’t heard of in the middle.  I did some and just sat out the rest.  Needless to say, not a particularly nice practice.

Then today was mysore and he came over and helped me with me ardha baddha padmottanasana and introduced himself and I told him we practiced Anne in Mountain View.  Then he said, “You were next to me yesterday.” I just smiled and said probably the stupidest thing ever, “not on purpose.”  Hopefully he didn’t notice my head almost exploding.

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