Off The Mat

The Sun is Shining in the Outer Banks

Aug 1, 2013 Michelle Dorer
Michelle Dorer / Ashtanga Yoga Teacher

Something I learned from watching Joseph Campbell’s DVDs on Netflix is a very interesting teaching from his section on Buddhism.  He said that you are not supposed to rid yourself of your vice; instead you are to turn it to the highest good.

To me, this was inspiring advice to say the least.  I have observed in myself and others that as yogis we often try to shut down parts of ourselves that we do not think fit into our idea of purity or of being a yogi.  Repression is not really my thing and I tend to be more allowing as a yogini and as a teacher. I believe that if we do the scientific practices of yoga and observe ourselves with compassion, eventually what does not serve us will fall away naturally or transform into something really cool.

I cannot help but feel that our entire cultural religious system has taught us to live in a way that is contrary to our very nature.  I am not into it!  I found this advice to be very liberating.

So, I sat and thought about what my vices might be…

I have ways of journaling that help me access my inner wisdom and what came up was, “Woo, woo!”  All my life I have had a very joyful celebratory energy.  I cannot help it, I love a good party!

When I started daily practice at the age of 23, my party days came to an abrupt end and a part of me secretly longed for this expression.  I told myself “this is what Moon days are for.”

Well, I have grown up a lot in the past 10 years and what I have learned is to redirect this energy towards gathering people in a positive way to raise consciousness, ie, running a yoga studio, hosting workshops, holding retreats, and having parties to celebrate the spiritual seasons.

After 10 years of maturation, I think I have found my way!  I am happy to say we are having a great Summer here on the Outer Banks.  The many practitioners who have come through from out of town are surprised at the wet heat the Southeast part of the States has to offer.  My studio becomes the “Sweat Lodge.”

We had one of the most memorable gatherings of my life last week at Chip Hedenburg’s house (thank you Chip!) to celebrate the Day of the Guru. We had an amazing spread of food, followed by ceremony, drumming, dancing and an assortment of other instruments outside in the moonlight around a fire that lasted well into the night.

Now my community is gearing up for two amazing workshops which will bring love and energy to the Outer Banks from many places along the East Coast ranging from New York to Georgia and as far west as California.

David Garrigues will be returning to teach his 3rd Annual Mysore Intensive September 11-16.  David and I have carved out an amazing week at the Beach for practitioners of a wide variety to remove themselves from their busy worlds and immerse themselves in an intense classical yoga curriculum consisting of daily Mysore, Pranayama, Yoga Sutras, followed by a workshop class. Classes are over by 1pm which allows everyone plenty of time to explore the many treasures on the Outer Banks.

David has decided to teach for 6 days this year and many practitioners look forward to this week.  There is a high caliber of practitioners, and I personally look forward to practicing with some of my favorite Ashtangi sisters. We jam out!  David’s intensity is engaging and inspiring.

This is a week of tapas, love, devotion, and washing it all away in mineral water.  We will top the week off with a bonfire at one of our favorite local beaches.  If this sounds interesting to you, contact me soon because we are already quite cozy!

Then, a month later my teacher of many years will be making his first trip to the Outer Banks.  Tim Miller is teaching a weekend workshop October 11-13 which is Columbus Day weekend. This is a great weekend to get away to the beach to study yoga with one of the most sought after teachers of the lineage.

Tim’s long unwavering years of dedication to the lineage, the practice, and Pattabhi Jois have made him an incredible leader and lighthouse for me and yogis all over.

Two of the sessions will be at my studio and three will be at the local Unitarian Universalist Church off of Kitty Hawk Road.

For more information on the operation of the studio and these upcoming workshops, feel free to contact me directly or take a look at my website:  www.ashtangayogaobx.com.  Registration and flyers are up!

In a nutshell, we have a lot going on here on the Outer Banks and we are the happy host to anyone wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of city and suburban life.  Come to where the air is clean, the Stars are clear, and you can hear the sound of the waves crashing upon the shore.

Love to All Beings.

Michelle Dorer

Owner, Director, Teacher – Ashtanga Yoga Center, Outer Banks, NC

PS…Chip and I will be throwing another party on Saturday, November 2 to celebrate Samhain.  All yogis are welcome!  Contact me for directions and details.

Categories: Off the Mat