I received a quick reply from Stewart after I sent an email to him asking if I could join his class to practice with him for 3 weeks. He welcomed me to practice with him and generously offered me a good price package. His studio is at very central of Wellington. It is at the basement of an office building, which it is also a squash court. The size of the area and the wooden floor is just nice for practicing yoga. What a creative idea this is.
I went a total of 12 classes within my 3 weeks stay, Stewart teaches every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at morning, details can be found from his website here. He is an authorised ashtanga level 2 teacher. From his website, I learned that he was teaching in Japan and started his teaching in Wellington from January 2018. The class is rather in smaller group now, the most students at one time I saw was about 10 to 12 students, but it is the mysorestyle, which people come to practice at different time and finish/leave at different time. The class will open from 5.45 till 11am. I took the first bus from where I stayed (Johnsonville) at 6.45am and reach the studio to start my practice at around 7.30am. I finished my practice in around 2 hours, including my pranayama practice and about 10 minutes resting after all practice.
I started my first class with Stewart worrying if I was capable to start practicing intermediate series, I knew I was still afraid to do drop back by myself but with the help from Stewart, I became confident to drop back. So I started to practice first few poses of intermediate series each time I attended the class, then with advices and help from Stewart I slowly proceed to more poses and finally I am now in Kapotasana.
I really appreciate the encouragement each time Stewart gave to me, he saw my weaknesses and knew that I am lack of confidence when my body has the resistance to try the pose. I was struggling to jump back in lotus, I remember he told me ‘I do not see the reason you could not do it’, with more confidence I am able to do it now. I learned that if I never try my all out, I will never know if I could do it, I need to start believing myself more.
Stewart also taught me the preparation for Supta Kumarsana, and the techniques to bring both legs behind the head my own. That was really helpful to me. Not to miss out, I also learned the proper pranayama from Stewart. I never expected I could learn so much within 3 weeks but I did, but those are the tips and advices Stewart only could teach, I know without continuous self practice, I will reach no where far. This is what I learned the most from Stewart.