Whoever took one of my classes knows:

I love alignment.

Obviously not in the sense one fits all. You must see the individual student. It happens too easily that we fall into the same patterns and just make stronger what is already strong and weaker what is already weak. Alignment can create better body awareness.

Coming to the Yoga conference, I was super excited to see Esther Ekhart. I follow her for a long time on Social Media and I am a big fan of her work. So finally, I could train with her in person and not only digitally in my living room.

Esther Ekhart
Esther Ekhart

Esther has been teaching internationally for over 20 years.  She teaches and practices Hatha yoga, Vinyasa flow, Yin yoga, meditation and pranayama. She threads years of experience as a therapist and ongoing spiritual studies into her teaching.  As an avid student, Esther is continually evolving her own practice through further training and study. She has studied intensively with her teachers including Clive Sheridan, Sarah Powers, Clarity process teacher Taetske Kleijn, and meditation teacher Burgs.  

I picked of course the first class she gave at the conference: A Dragon Dance Workshop.

She explained at the beginning of the class, what will happen. One of her first sentences was:

“There won’t be much alignment.”

Bummer! Words I usually don’t like to hear. In theory, I was looking forward to some alignment wisdom. But as Yoga taught me:

Accept the situation, don’t fight it. You can’t change the situation but you can control your reaction to it.

We started really slowly with movements of the feet, ankles, arms and shoulders. Integrated a few movements and postures which will be repeated later in the dragon dance.

Esther explained that it was originally developed by Bernie Clark and she adapted it.

The final dragon dance was supported with light music. Every movement was connected with the breath. We started easy with the connection of a few different warrior-based asanas and slowly over time added more and more. We constantly moved and quickly created heat in the body but calmness in the mind, through the constant rhythmic breathing.

While we “danced”, I fully understood that this leaves no room for alignment and would be pretty much overwhelming for teacher and student. Touché. I got the point 😉

The active Yang part of the Dragon dance was followed by still and calming Yin poses. After constant moving, just what your body needs.

Not fighting the situation but accepting it, was worth it. Yes, I am still an alignment fan, but I also like variety. There are moments when it comes to alignment, where I get lost in details and I start to overthink. Then my practice becomes more stress than pleasure.

Practices like the Dragon Dance can bring you out of your head again. I loved the constant movement and breath but even more the connection with the others, all breathing and moving in the same pattern. Without looking at the others, still focusing on your breath and movement, you could feel the connected energy very well.

So, thank you Esther for connecting us :-).