At Shree Yoga, Spring Challenges have become an Institution.
This year is the eighth year so I decided to talk to Genevieve and Suki about Spring at Shree, where energy is constantly moving along with the bodies who teach and practice yoga in the beautiful space on Ledoux St.
For the past few years Suki handled the management side of the studio, while Genevieve managed the Love Apple and worked for a spell at the Cellar before taking the helm in January this year. Suki is now exploring her creative side and working in chocolate Heaven at Chokola, part-time.
Both continue to teach classes at Shree and have shifted roles with the same ease they fall into a yoga pose.
We had spent time together on the Equinox doing our seasonal Feng Shui space clearing ritual, and while we worked, I noted how clear the energy in the room was. There was little need to clear negative Sha; the Chi was flowing!
Thinking about that continuous stream of energy passing through Shree daily, I emailed the Shree Goddesses and asked about this year’s Root Down Challenge.
Q: Suki coined the Root Down term – but I’d like to know what it means to each of you now?
“Oy Mom! “ My daughter was annoyed.
“You asked us this last year! I think this is number 9! Not totally sure, but we could look at last years post to double-check!”
Cheeky. And keeps me in check.
I did. She was wrong,
“The basic idea is you challenge yourself to do a whole bunch of yoga for whatever reason you want! What happens as a result of this kind of pursuit is an inevitable deepening of asana practice and an inevitable journey into challenging Scheduling which may disrupt all of your relationships. From these inevitability’s comes a great opportunity to respond to the adversity of the challenge you created for yourself. The physical rewards of this challenge go without saying, but are often minimal in value when held up next to the other rewards of walking through this kind of challenge which arise as a result of being present with the adversity. Life, like a yoga practice is not without adversity and challenge, often ones we wouldn’t choose given a choice. So this kind of commitment and practice is like a training ground for life!an opportunity to learn about ones strengths and liabilities and how to temper them so that one’s experience in the company of the challenge, be it chosen or unchosen, can be as peaceful as one can make it.”
She paused. “Go deep, that’s where the nourishing life enhancing vital energy is.”
Suki was sweeter in her response. And equally wise.
“The Root Down Challenge is so fun!” She wrote. “We come to the mat in honor of our own promise to practice, and cultivate community with other people taking on the challenge as well as our team of teachers, as a pure and simple reflection of critical mass of shared space and time.”
“In the traditional manner, yoga is shared through a committed relationship between student and teacher. They embark on a journey together, over a long period of time, walking a shared path, one leading the way, and the aspirant making questions that also direct the adventure. This intimate relationship has been replaced in the modern yoga studio with something very different. Dropping in to a public class is such a casual agreement, and often, we – the student and the teacher – walk out the door an hour later, ultimately changed and impacted, suddenly back on the street, so to speak. It’s tender territory that we all agree to walk through in a public class, which sometimes leaves me wanting as a student, and a teacher. Because of the pace of our day-to-day, we might not drop back in to connect with the practice (ourselves, the inspirations that popped up in meditation or savasana, the intentions we set in the company of the class), for another week, or long while! P.S. that I realize the value of fitting in to the modern world that this style of study reflects, and am grateful to be able to reach so many people, and to be reached by so many teachers. I dig the boon of both sides, just very enjoy the depth of relationship to the practice, to the environment of the practice, and to the shared community with other students and the teacher, that happens with such a pledge. It’s very sweet, and potent stuff. “
“This year for me, Root Down is a beckoning into the down low, deep. As the spring winds gather electricity, it is oh, so easy to be blown off course in their gusts and the hastening pace of a growing season. Through consistent returning to the mat, we are linking into that OG diving in style of yoga study that truly roots the practitioner into the practice. Root Down is a call to return to stillness in the middle of everything moving. It becomes a place to anchor, and from our deep tethers, then a place to spring into action, growth, and the future.”
Gotta love these women!
The Root Down Spring Challenge at Shree: 21 classes in 30 days for just $108.00,
For more on Shree Yoga Taos and the Spring Root Down Challenge, please visit their site linked below.
All Photographs by Bill Curry.