Taste of Liz Doyle Yoga

Liz Doyle blew my mind yesterday. She did this once before several years ago, but then our paths didn’t cross again until now. Sometimes that happens with something that’s so outside the box. The mind can’t quite fit it into a preexisting box, so it “forgets”. And as my mind was in the process of being blown again, it all came back to me. A yoga class she taught at Sutra Yoga studio. She’s so gravity defying… and so much fun. 

This time I was her guest and I’ve come for a taste of her teaching style. I’m investigating my path to becoming a certified yoga instructor! The journey commences with this two hour Yoga Asana Intensive among her assorted collection of yogi devoteés. Many, I later discovered, are yoga teachers themselves. Right away it should be a signal that this is not your ordinary teacher or your ordinary class, when the other students are instructing you on how to set up your mats. It’s the signature Liz Doyle double crossing configuration. Is this the patented Liz Doyle Yoga Cross Mat practice setup? Yes, you will be using every bit of those mats as you twist and turn and pay homage to each direction. 

Liz Doyle cross mat setup
I felt like I walked into a Cirque du Soleil training as “Yumi” started warming up by lifting her downward dog into straddle handstands. Straddle handstands?!

Liz likes to go right into them,

she explains by way of justification. And straddle handstands we did go right into! For most classes a downward dog might be the refrain, the resting pose that we revisit again and again throughout class. Not for Liz, her refrain resting pose sings the tune of the straddle handstand. Then there was the moment for the pose:

Answer your foot-phone. 

Okay. What?! I give the sole of my foot a kiss hello. This was not your regular sun-salutation-based-vinyasa-flow-with-a-peak-pose thrown in there for the teacher to show off a bit and humble you a bit, just to  let you know you’ve got a long ways to go. Liz is fun and empowering. We laugh a lot. At one point while facing the North, she suggests letting your inner vision be bathed in cerulean blue. 

The class might have been called an arm stand workshop intensive. It was a veritable arm stand feast. If you were hungry for arm stands, this might have satiated you. For the moment. And then you’d be ready for more. And arm stands and inversions, for those who know me and my yoga practice, are not my particular strength. Yet?! Liz Doyle has a way of keeping them coming… until one clicks, and off you go?!

Astavakrasana: eight angle, or eight crooked limb, arm balance pose. 

This one surprised me when, practicing on the second side, I managed some hang-time. When I caught the air sensation I didn’t want to stop. We laughed. Then, I started to get the feel for the straddle handstand and get a little lift… a hint of an opening of possibility. Sometimes that’s all you need in life to keep engaged in the possibilities. A taste… 

Perfectly delicious. I’m glad I spent it with you. Thank you, Liz Doyle!

Liz Doyle and me bathed in cerulean blue at Sattva Yoga in Redmond, WA

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