An extraordinary week with Noah Maze: the experience of learning from him was a daily endorsement of his huge reputation. Noah leads a very strong practice, well beyond the normal comfort zone of at least half the class. But with his meticulous work on the preparation of each pose, and the Anusara based emphasis on correct alignment, every student found that they were able to grasp the requirements of each new asana. As each day went by, although not every pose was mastered, everyone was astonished (and gratified) at the leaps in confidence and achievement they experienced.
Every morning practice lasted for two and a half hours, with a focus on standing and balancing poses and a lot of work on the strength based postures of headstands and handstands. Noah worked through each pose in different ways, teaching his students how it could be approached from sitting, standing and lying down. And, delightfully, he laces his teaching with humour – mimicking the New Joisey ATTITUDE of “whass da big deal?” as he hooked his arms under his knees and spread his hands in mock challenge in order to show the class how to prepare for astavakrasana (Eight Angle Pose); the shrill cry of the peacock he let out in pincha mayurasana (Feathered Peacock Pose)……making everyone relax, laugh, pause, refresh their mind and absorb the confidence he exudes.
If I were to single out the greatest gift he gave us during the week, I think it would be exactly that: confidence. He is uncompromising in his demands – but his unwavering belief that it can be done pushes each student into fulfilling intentions they had no idea they could achieve. The class was of very mixed ability: two teachers, several others who had a well established and confident practice and several more who had only practiced yoga for 2 or 3 years – and one man who was just one month in. Each and every one knew they had taken bounds in their practice and in their understanding of what was possible for them.
There was more: time for teaching the life-affirming philosophy behind the Anusara practice, for meditation and chanting, for friendship and laughter within the group, for good food and dancing, for Fijian music and kava drinking. And for falling into a deep, exhausted and happy sleep every night. Namaste, Noah.