Anusara Retreat with John Friend

Well, Annie and I are back from our ten day trip to Park City Utah. We flew out with our seven-month-old baby and our yoga mats to train with Anusara yoga founder John Friend. How was it? Amazing! But that doesn’t do it justice.

Vacations are like yoga poses – difficult to express. They both transform us so completely that we’re left in a state of such fullness we find our mouths empty of words. Think about it. Come out of a perfectly aligned yoga pose or just return from a vacation in some far away heaven on earth and the same expression appears on your face. Just three big circles: two eyes, one mouth  😮 . So when it’s a yoga vacation… explaining this experience becomes infinitely more difficult. Rather than failing to capture the “amazing” experience in a colorful narrative, here’s a list of my top ten highlights:

1. John’s Texan impersonation repeatedly performed cowboy hat and all. The key: “the top lip don’t move a tall, ya see.”
2. Stepping foot in David Bells’ “Yoga Shop.” A 2,500 square foot warehouse studio with heated floors, windows all around with electronic blinds to control light, gorgeous bronze, copper, and brass morties surrounding, and a huge projection screen T.V.
3. Being surrounded by a Kula that makes a difference of 800 miles, and 7,000 feet of elevation feel just like home.
4. Countless “Ah Ha” moments including discovering that my dosha is actually Vata – air. (And I always thought of myself as fiery, not airy).
5. Spending a week with John just an arms length to my left and a five-foot Natraj an arms length in front.
6. Finally finding meaning and clarity in the Chakra system from one of the most informed and beautifully illuminated individuals on the subject – Anodea Judith.
7. Getting an answer to a long pondered question: How do we strengthen the core without interrupting apana vayu (the downward flowing energy, opposite yet equally important to Prana). Answer in a nutshell: reconsider your understanding of the word “core.” It’s not just abs anymore guys.
8. John’s two-and-a-half hour embodied response to someone’s question – “what is Lila.” Pure comedy!
9. Fully grabbing my foot in eka pada rajakapotasana 2, while 130 yogis cheered.
10. Coming home to my favorite place on earth – Yoga Union, Portland Oregon.



2 responses to “Anusara Retreat with John Friend

  1. I love this Todd! Thanks for sharing a bit of your experience with us.

  2. yes, this rules, glad this exists.

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