Back Bay Yoga Studio, Boston, MA (www.backbayyoga.com)
Today I attended two workshop taught by Tias Little (www.tiaslittle.com). The morning workshop ( 9AM -12 PM) was about grounding and was titled “The Heart of the Legs”. The second workshop in the afternoon, (2-5 PM) was titled “Kidney Chi”.
Tias told us he practiced Ashtanga for over 10 years and still teachers Ashtanga but from my practice of Iyengar, he seemed more Iyengar based – lots of detailed alignment instructions, long holds, each pose practiced 2-3 times. But he also added vinyasa (sun salutations) although not very many. The morning practice was more rigorous and heat building and the afternoon session was remunerative. However, his bio doesn’t mention anything about Iyengar training.
The morning practice was very focused on the alignment of the legs and feet. We’d often execute the alignment instructions then come out again, then re-execute them again. There was a lot of hip opening.
The afternoon workshop started with a lecture about the kidneys. Tias said we should monitor our fatigue level and do a practice around that. He said our kidneys hold the chi of our body and we should never give all that chi away – and when it runs low, we should do poses that rejuvenate the kidneys, which is the practice we then proceeded to do. There were a lot of twists – not a lot of standing poses, but some twisting standing poses. It was delicious.
Each workshop started and ended with chanting and ended with a long mediation with Tias quoting poetry. His language used in teaching was unique and very artistic. For example, he talking about “quadrating” the thighs and talked about discipline in the pose but being lighthearted about it.
He had a very skilled assistant and they both constantly wandered the class giving adjustments that felt very good and related to what we are doing. They were both very attentive.
Tias seems to have the skill to bridge a gap between more alignment oriented practices and more vinyasa/ power type practices. He says that you should have strong alignment and flow – that you need both in a practice.
Hopefully I’ll get a change to study with him again but for now but hips and outer thighs and kidneys are buzzing with joy!