Article by: Patricia Rendell
Previous to this I personally, had yet to hear of this wonderful woman called Twee Merrigan. However since seeing the pre-conference and main conference schedule I notice her name come for quiet a few time slots with interesting titles, and in talking with participants the last few days – she was a big draw card to this event. I did some of my own research and I felt drawn to exploring her style and her rhythm of teaching a class.
Main Conference day, first class, front row, I am looking as this petite and beautiful woman enter the room with a loving crowd around her, supporting her and helping her set up for the class. Instantly giving you a warm, fuzzy and energetic feeling. The crowds are coming and we all settle then, re-adjust and remove them to let the extra people in, its quiet a crowd, but no one seems to mind.
Twee begins by sharing a experience from a personal and emotional conversation she had, just this morning over breakfast. The discussion is then taken deeper, as she tries to expand our minds to think in a different format. Phrases are used like: ‘What is your intention?’ and ‘Does it serve a purpose?’. Twee speaks of her teacher, Shiva Rea. There is talk of the technology and the way is consumes us and our thoughts, actions and space, referees made to the Bhagavad Gita, as Twee lovingly holds up copy she is carrying with her on this round world journey with her family.
As our physical practice begins, we are reminded that this is the smallest part of all that is yoga. The group is encouraged that ‘all things are with the breath’, and ‘to take our time to breathe and move with this breathe’. Every movement is fluid, or liquid. You take the time to move within, during and after each breathe – the concept connected to a deeper meaning of there being a beginning, a middle and an end of all things. This cycle is referenced through her teachings and I can now experience in my body what Twee sees and feels as the way to practice. And practice starts here – we breathe, we move into a see-saw method of breathing and we stay conscious of this before we take the first guided asana. All holding the space and using this concept.
Encouragement is given to us to use the space, Twee’s sequencing is not only connected to the breathe but also to this idea of the higher being and re-connecting to grounding and giving back to mother earth. As we come into our first Warrior 2 or Virabhadrasana II, we all pause and are reminded to think of the breath and of the asana as having three respective parts. A beginning, middle and end. Just like each inhale and exhale taken. We are reminded to think of our roots, our heritage and again our intention. Our back foot grounding, earthing and representing what is behind us. Our centre position body holding tall and strong in the present. And the out stretched front arm and hand we gaze towards, being the future, and us welcoming what is to come. The whole concept has a humbling connotation and makes beautiful sense. This is used as the base thoughts for each asana we do.
It just works beautifully.
The movements are slower than a typical vinyasa class, but not any less difficult, your entire body is working but in a completely different way. You are always liquid, always fluid, agile yet slow, you are relaxed yet every part of your anatomy is awake and working.
Namaste Twee and deep gratitude to you for an eye opening different approach to our current practice of yoga.
Hold the space and remember your roots ~ Twee Merrigan
Photos: Hanna Witte