bountiful, diamond, disenfranchised, gleaming golden thread, gone fishing, Home, intangible embrace, kiss of life, learning curve, magic, peace out, sparkle, teaching, the universe’s ocean, Yoga, yoga teacher training
Sometimes before teaching a yoga class, I ask myself how it is I think I’m going to do it: teach the class, that is. Just who do I think I am, anyway?
Then it’s time to begin and I find myself speaking words that I didn’t even know were there to be said. Sure, I have a rough class plan, but how that plays out is always a bit of a mystery. And the words I use to direct the class seem to come out of nowhere, too.
Sometimes I find that I design classes based on the weather, the time of day, or the students who show up. Or even the ones that came to a previous and unrelated class. Yes… just thinking about people’s reactions/feedback to my classes is enough, because often people have similar enough experiences to make certain things (no matter how specific) quite valid for more than just an individual.
There’s magic in teaching yoga: a somewhat intangible embrace. A yoga teacher is not just speaking the words and demonstrating poses at the front of the room, but is also smack-dab in the middle of the experience of his/her students. It’s something shared. An exchange. This part of teaching can’t be measured or practiced as such, and is rarely discussed in yoga teacher training – instead, it’s all about being there and participating in a yoga class as the yoga teacher.
I know there’s a learning curve, and I’m on it. I can both see and feel it. My words and actions press against it like an invisible bubble every time I teach. A very slight pressure to make sure I’m aware of its elasticity. There’s room to move and grow and learn, it says… and I sigh with relief. Thank goodness!
I don’t have to know everything right now. There’s still plenty for me to share without being the Most Knowledgeable Yoga Teacher in the Known Universe, or even making the Top 500. So much to share! And so I do. Even though I’m not always sure where the sharing comes from.
Which sneaky corners of my body and mind have those wisdom nuggets been hiding in? Or is it something else entirely? Is it a sensibility that extends outside of myself and dipping into another? Something bigger? More?
Maybe it’s like fishing in the universe’s ocean. So vast and awe-inspiring! I can load up my fishing rod with bait (the upcoming yoga class), cast the line and see what turns up on the end of my hook. It’s a bountiful ocean and whatever comes back to me is good. Maybe it’s only a tiny sliver of information but that can be enough to enrich my students and myself.
It’s all good. Engaging in this work never seems repetitive (although it is of course, to a certain degree) and never loses it’s sparkle. It’s a big wide ocean of incredible power and beauty, and every time I reach in to connect with it I’m surprised by myself.
Who do I think I am? Well actually, it doesn’t really matter what I think of myself. In fact, when I teach I don’t really think of myself at all. Just my students and how I can best find a way to uhhh… share what I know.
If a smile can be transmitted through a person’s eyes, can my knowledge of yoga (always growing and changing) be transmitted through my voice, physical demonstration and occasional adjustments? I think it can. I think it DOES.
Yoga reveals my Self to myself. I learn to banish limited thinking about my body and mind in the face of overwhelming evidence that proves otherwise. I run a gleaming golden thread between my breath, my body and my heart and they all vibrate as one (the way it should be if we weren’t so disenfranchised from our own Selves). My practice changes daily and I see how things are more clearly than if I were just to look in the mirror at my physical reflection.
So when I ask you to move, and when I spend time explaining how and why to do so a certain way, what I’m really trying to share with you is the bounty of my own practice. All the fish I’ve hooked while out in my small little row boat, fishing in that ocean (don’t worry, I always give ‘em the kiss of life and throw ‘em back in).
And the words that come – they aren’t rehearsed because I’m busily explaining what I see and feel right there, right then.
I want you to love your yoga practice. To find joy in it, even when you can’t do all the asana perfectly (and I mean, who ever does ANYTHING perfectly, right?). I want you to have a good time and I want you to find that place in your heart that is quiet, expansive and glows like a gazillion carrot (conflict-free) diamond. That place is called Home, and you need to get to know it because being able to go there any time you like is one of the best things going.
So yeah. Haven’t been posting much lately, I know. But I’m not gonna apologise because, you see, I went fishing. And a little transformation’s been going on while I was out there, bobbing around peacefully. Watching the stars. Breathing in the moon. And generally, making some renovations in my own Home.
But I’ve been thinking about you all. I have. And sending out lots of love.
Peace out, everyone. Big smoochie kisses, too.
More soon, I promise!