Judith Lasater always starts her classes on time. I learned this at the first workshop I took from her, a restorative training session in Dallas a year ago. I will never forget her words, “We start class on time to honor the practice. We end class on time to honor our students.” And she always does.
So today as we gathered in the Grand Ballroom and rolled out our mats for her 2 hour workshop on Yoga to Save Your Knees, I turned to the woman next to me and casually remarked, “She always starts on time.” At exactly 12:30, a bell chimed, and Judith called us together.
In addition to being the queen of restorative yoga, Judith Lasater received her education in physical therapy. An Iyengar-trained yogi, she has taught for over 30 years, and authored a number of books. You might say, this girl knows what she’s talking about.
She opened the class with a simple statement, “Pain is not good.” Over the next 2 hours, Judith led participants in experiential exercises punctuated by group gatherings to closely observe alignment details and adjustments. From the orientation of the patella to the arc of the Achilles tendon, Judith urged us to be aware, pay attention, and make the subtle adjustments that can mean the difference between pain and ease.
As she explained the anatomy of the knee in clear and concise language, she shared this key insight: “The knee joint is the “prisoner” of the hip and the ankle.” Understanding anatomy is key to our practice, and to that end, Judith Lasater has written a new book for yoga teachers to facilitate that understanding. Yogabody: Anatomy, Kinesiology and Asana will be released in May 2009 and is available now for pre-order.
The workshop flew by as participants engaged in the exercises, asked questions, and diligently took notes. The class ended much too soon, but EXACTLY on time. As I watched the line form to ask this yoga master more questions, I realized I probably wasn’t the only one about to pre-order her new book.