Emma Isokivi is our Mysore Director and a long term student of Sarah Hatcher’s. On Saturday 25th July, Sarah is running a special 2.5hr workshop for us online (see more details HERE and at the bottom).
Emma: Sarah why don’t you share a little more about yourself and your connection with Meadowlark?
Sarah: This is fun.
I got connected to Meadowlark Yoga because I came to Meadowlark in 2012 to guest teach and then I ended up staying and the story is a little bit long, but well just the good stuff is I was the director of the program there for a year and a half. Then we moved up to Aberdeen or I started a program up there at Love Yoga. And then we came back to Edinburgh and I was there for another four and a half years or so, and again taught as the director of the Mysore program.
So Meadowlark is, my really heart and soul shala, home shala. I feel like, the students, Karen, yourself, Amy, Nadine, Joanne and the teachers that teach there Clare Fulton, Kirsten, Jen Usher, Vanessa Rigby, I only name some of you. These were some of the team that helped build, with assistance, teaching and sharing the Mysore method in a group environment, was a really big part of my life. So, I'll always be connected to you guys.
We moved to Dublin in December 2019 which is where I am at right now. I teach here at a new Mysore program. There's a small studio in there and I just started that program in January, so we've only been, running very short time.
Emma: (Talking about Meadowlark) It’s a big program and there's a lot of us teaching and assisting in the program as well. And you Sarah, were a massively pinnacle part of growing that program because when I started with Karen, there was just a handful, 8 or 10 of us. You've been a major part of growing our program to what it is today. So for, I guess for anyone that doesn't know Sarah out there, she is an incredible teacher, bad*** awesome lady and she's been my teacher for a long time and it's an honour to have her returning back to teach at Meadowlark.
Emma: Sarah not only teaches asana and pranayama, but also is a beautiful chanter and she's always diving into Patanjali's sutras and her Vedic chanting. And I wanted her to share a little bit of that magic with us. Sarah do you have a sutra that at the moment you are particularly enjoying or even finding challenging at the moment?
Sarah: Oh, great. So the yoga sutras are our teacher that teaches us about the method. So if you ever feel alone on your mat or you're not sure you don't, you're not connected or you are connected to your teacher, but you need another. Look towards your studies- Svadhyaya in Sanskrit. A form of self study and a study of yoga itself. You can look at the yoga sutras for guidance.
Right now I'm really liking the idea that the "vitarka-bādhane pratiprakṣa-bhāvanam" (YS 2.33) that when the negative thoughts and the actions come in, we counter them with positivity the, "pratiprakṣa-bhāvanam" this idea that we have to counter these harassed thoughts or this negativity all around toxicity in our, in our own environment and our own mind in the world around us, we have to keep countering that with Kriya yoga, the yoga of action.
Chapter two (of the Yoga Sutra's of Patanjali), the Sadhana Pada to me is really resonating right now. Cause it says let’s really do some action! The Kriya, the work, the austerities, the self study and the surrendering to the divine. So it's like, you know, "tapaḥ svādhyāy-eśvarapraṇidhānāni kriyā-yogaḥ” (YS 2.1) so like the yoga of actions, time to get on your mat. So when the troubles come so we "vitarka-bādhane pratiprakṣa-bhāvanam", we counter that with meditative action.
I'm looking to refine my yamas and niyamas, and just really getting rooted in my principles, I think right now is really important. First, two rungs first and second rung. Just learning how to be kind,
Emma: None of this discussion about Samadhi (enlightenment) (laughing). Just trying to be kind. I think it's so easy, especially at the moment, with practicing at home as well is it's so easy to get into the negative mind stuff.
Sarah: You have to give yourself a lot of that care. When I'm alone on my mat and I am doing the best I can. And, I'm sticking to the best path that I can at this moment.
Emma: Could you share with us, what are you enjoying about your practice at the moment? And maybe even what posture you're working on. I know it's not all about asana, but it's kind of fun to hear.
Sarah: Asana’s a very important part of my life. I'm on my mat every single day. I take one day off and I take, try to take Saturday off as for me my rest day. I'm really enjoying the whole method, the primary series, the intermediate series, the third series, the four series. And for me to get my hands on a part of the series every day is my goal. So I don't necessarily do an entire series every day. So one day a week I do full primary and I love that day because primary series to me is so hard and so many obstacles to it. And then I do one day, I do half a series, half of third, half of second, the postures I am working on refining our like classic poses, just making them so good and clean. So not necessarily a peak posture for me, although I have my challenges, but I feel like every single one, I'm trying to take it with the best breath I can with the clearest intention and with the cleanest line. So if I feel kind of sloppy, some days are really tired. I might just work on one pose and stay there and then finish. I'm working on the 4th series. I'm working on the exorcist pose, where you spin around on your head and you're in your body. (Parivrittasana.) And that for me is just enough for my package being a mom. I'm making sure I'm not on my mat more than an hour and a half. For me, asana is so important, but it means it's potent. It's only an hour and a half, and then it's gotta be over because the next half an hour, I need to rest or have a shower, but normally a two hour practice would be luxurious. But for right now, it's just going to be limited to an hour and a half. And that is plenty for most people actually. Keeping energy in the tank is so valuable because you can't let the practice ruin your life. You want the practice to give you energy.
Sarah’s workshop on the 25th of July is based on the primary series, and for all levels of practitioners. We will be working with the full primary collection of postures but there will lots of options and variations for those who are less familiar with certain sections of the sequence. Sarah will be looking specifically at the 3 parts of the asana- the entrance, state of the posture and the exit in detail and the vinyasa around each asana. Identifying which postures need a special type of effort and others that can allow for some more ease.
The primary series is where you are going to learn the base for all the other series so regardless of whether you are a beginner or advanced student there is a lot to learn.
There will also be talk around this base infiltrating into the other series, and also how the yoga sutras can relate to your practice, what obstacles can hold you back in from achieving yoga and ways to create success.
The workshop details:
Saturday 25th July
Asana, then talk and demonstration.
Sliding scale price options of £25-35.
Zoom codes will be sent out 1 hour before the event.
Booking on Meadowlark's workshop tab HERE
It will be recorded and available for one week so you can listen in later if needed.
Any questions please email: [email protected]
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