Elle Potter

mildly hilarious, exceptionally fun, and usually barefoot.

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A Very Holly Anjali

((12/22 – links have been updated and are now working, I promise!))

I had just gotten home from almost a month on Maui last December when I came to Studio Shakta to teach my special Christmas Eve Restorative Yoga class.  I had taught it the year before, but considering I hadn’t been teaching for a few months, I wasn’t expecting a huge turn out.

bluebird christmas tree

I showed up an hour early to begin preparing for what I assumed would be a dozen students.  I only had enough props for maybe 15 complete set ups, but figured it would be more than enough.

Students started showing up for class about 20 minutes before.  And they kept coming.  And coming.  And coming.  More and more, and mostly people I had never met before, they came through the door until we had thirty-four people signed in for class.

There was simply no more room at the inn, as it were, and a few of my teacher friends gave up their spots on the floor and became my Anjali Elves – my assistants who would help me manage this suddenly huge class.

Because we had no more props (and I refused to turn anyone away), I borrowed people’s jackets to roll up as bolsters, tucked people who knew each other under one shared blanket next to each other, and propped heads up with bunched up scarves.  When I would ask someone if they could spare one of their props to share with someone who had just come in to the room, no one once ever said no or even looked upset that they would have to give something up.  It was incredibly beautiful, and it took all my control to not become overwhelmed by the heaping amounts of love pouring through that room.

My friend (the incomparable Peggy Dyer) recorded the class on her voice recorder, and just shared the file with me yesterday.  And so, I present to you, the full-length Holly Anjali class from 2010.  Please enjoy it and forward it along to your friends and family.

The group singing Silent Night at the end of class (the sniffles you hear are half of us crying – it was truly an incredible experience): Silent Night: Holly Anjali with Elle Potter 2010

Instructions for enjoying the class:

  • Find a nice, quiet space to set yourself up in.  Maybe even under your Christmas tree!
  • The volume of this class is soft, so you might want to use headphones to be able to hear everything.
  • Lie on your back and cover up with a blanket.
  • Roll up a big fluffy blanket or pillow and tuck it under your knees.
  • Put a washcloth or eyepillow over your eyes.
  • Try to follow along with the instructions given through the class – or just stay there for the duration of the class!  Do what feels good and allows you to relax.
  • Remember: Less is more.  Let yourself be still and quiet.  Know that all the moving around you hear in the recording is from the 30+ beautiful souls who attended class, and let that love permeate through your being as you enjoy some quiet time.

The whole 90 minute class can be listened to and downloaded from here: Holly Anjali: Christmas Eve Restorative Yoga with Elle Potter 2010

Posted December 17th, 2011.