September 23, 2009

My class at Yoga Journal Conference 2009 with Scott Blossom. ~ Sandja Brugmann

Scott Blossom: Organic Intelligence

As Waylon (editor-in-chief for Elephant Journal) and I drove up to Estes Park yesterday to cover the Yoga Journal conference, the temperature dropped to about 37 somewhere in the high, Rocky Mountains as a few snowflakes made their way down to my car’s windshield. The snow covered mountain tops as we descended into the valley of Estes Park were breathtakingly gorgeous.

I’m particularly excited to cover (as Elephant’s photographer and writer) Yoga Journal’s conference in Estes Park this year, having missed the passed few years due to living in Europe. A certified yoga teacher, I own a boutique communications/PR agencyRefresh Agency – focused on the LOHAS (lifestyles of health and sustainability) sectors. Some of our current and past clients include ChocoloveAddis CresonClementine ArtCrocs, GoodBellySNAP gathering, Justin’s Nut Butter.

This morning I attended my first yoga class of the conference. I had never previously practiced with Scott Blossom. My curiosity stemmed from last Thursday’s prajna paramita meditation with Tara Mandala in Boulder. The excitement I felt when a fellow meditation practitioner spoke of Scott Blossom coming to the area, and graciously offering to lead a meditation/yoga session with our Tara Mandala group one evening during the week he is teaching at the YJ Conference, I felt intrigued that I had the opportunity to experience his teachings at my fave yoga conference.

At my side was Paige from Green Yoga—only about 10 or so minutes into Scott’s lecture on Healing Thru Yoga Intensive: Practices to Heal & Strengthen the Bones, Joints, & Nerves, Paige looks over at me from her mat exclaiming with a sense of epiphany, “I was meant to be in this class.”

I felt the exact same way.

Scott is deep well of information on Ayurveda, yoga, Chinese Medicine and I am sure, much more. Though he is extremely grounded and energetically approachable and humble, I find it extremely complex and challenging to verbatim express his philosophy from class – however, my main takeaway was his notion of organic intelligence, which basically comes down to the notion of trusting and being moved by our bodily/organic intelligence during yoga. We can intellectualize, strategize and analyze all we want prior and after an asana, however, in the moment of doing, we can not mentally control our bones, like we can muscle. Scott took us thru the Dasa Chalanam as we were encouraged to surrender to our inner organic intelligence – letting yoga do us, rather than us doing yoga. We need less muscle activation and energy; more reliance on proper bone alignment. According to Scott, the Patanjali never talks about muscle; rather it explains yoga as steadiness (ie. bone steadiness).

As I rolled up my mat after class I felt a deep sense of connectedness, as if I had encountered another way of accessing my inner steadiness.

Scott Blossom is a Shadow Yoga teacher and teaches a style of hatha Vinyasa yoga, yoga therapy that is informed by his training as a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and an Ayurvedic consultant. His teachers are Zhander Remete, founder of Shadow Yoga, and Dr. Robert Svoboda, renowned Ayurvedic scholar/physician: shunyatayoga.com

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