Monthly Archives: September 2013

adhikara :: studentship

IMG_0689[Alternate Title: “Why Teacher Training Ruined Yoga for Me”]

Ok, maybe that’s a bit melodramatic. But there’s a piece of it that is true. My teacher training was this amazing experience of adhikara, studentship. Being in community with my misfit tribe. And before I decided to deepen my practice through training, yoga class was one of the few opportunities that I fully let go. There was no analysis of “shins in” or adjust this. There was the adventure of finding out where practice was going that day. I didn’t have to know…someone else knew, and I could trust them and myself to get me where I was going.

Now as a teacher, I find it hard to not play my teacher role in my own head. I find myself only half listening to what is being said, telling myself the cues, analyzing each pose for how I can adjust it. Listening enough to notice the things the instructor does that I like, that I think “oh, I should use that in a class”, and the “I didn’t really like it when…” What used to be an amazing release for someone who lives far too much in my head, has now turned into a practice of thinking not feeling.

Now don’t get me wrong…I love teaching. It is this amazing experience to share something I love. And to feel like my most authentic self. But it sometimes leaves me feeling separate, me (them) and them (students). Sometimes when I’m teaching I feel disconnected from the practice that led me to want to teach.

How do I find that balance? How to be two different roles, all from this one body? How can I move my learning out of my head and into my body? How do I be a part of the community as a fellow student while I sit in the role of teacher? Because I love teaching…and I want to use my own practice to constantly learn how to be a better teacher. But to be a better teacher, I know I need to be a student. And even if I wasn’t teaching, I can’t unlearn.

For today, I do that by going to class, getting on my mat. By being a student again. After all, sometimes it takes practice.

As Patanjali tells us, “Practice and all is coming.”

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“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers [and Septembers]”

I’ve been a reluctant blogger. Oh, I’ve got excuses — life is busy…work, family, dog, friends, thinking. But there was something that inspired me to start this; something that I felt I needed a place to express it (I’m still not really sure what that is). So I’m just going to go with it and see what happens…make sense of it as I go.

Gosh…this is starting to sound an awful lot like my life right now: not entirely sure what’s next but just going with it and seeing what happens.

Fall…

This year, fall brought with it a whole pile of uncertainty. After a summer feeling so “in the flow”, September hit like a tonne of bricks. But as I let go of trying to control my way out of anxiety, new opportunities and dreams are scattering the path.

I remember reading an article last year about why the leaves change colour. Basically it comes down to, they know. That trees listen to the cues around them…temperature, daylight…to begin to conserve the energy they expend in photosynthesis in the spring and summer. They pull it back into their centre, their roots, saving it up for when they’ll need it in the spring — senescence. Letting go of leaves when it not longer serves the tree to hold on. Whatever it is, I like it. And probably need a bit more of it myself. Listening to the cues around me to draw my energy back in; letting go of the pieces that no longer serve me.

p.s. you can never go wrong with Anne of Green Gables wisdom