I am on a plane home from my weekend in Portland, Maine and enjoying the entertainment that in-flight internet services provide. And after doing some work on the upcoming Asana Junkies weekly forum and cruising through the world of Facebook I am settling in to write a little bit about the weekend.
Truth be told, each weekend holds certain treasures and teaching lessons for me personally and professionally. I am always amazed by how much I learn with every trip I take and how much conversations I have with people shape me perceptions and perspectives. Really, it is so cool- I leave my home to go teach and I am always- without fail--taught.
The workshop in Portland, Maine was sold out with a waiting list which was awesome to feel the support and enthusiam of the community for my visit. It was very sweet. Each session was filled with so many well-trained yogi’s who were steeped and grounded in the good teachings of Anusara yoga and who were also open to new ideas, perspectives and way of exploring beyond the familiar terminology and ideology. I enjoyed being with people who had such a solid foundation of practice and teaching and who also were open to a conversation that was not limited to dogma and who were willing to go on a journey of exploration and innovation.
On Friday night I told the group that for over ten years I practiced and taught and trained others to teach the methodology of Anusara yoga and while I was not a purist with the method, I was happier in Anusara yoga than I could have imagined being outside of it. And for various reasons the scales of that balance changed and I needed to “break up with the method” and for a while I needed a bit of a clean break. As silly as it sounds now, I didn’t want to look out in a room a see jazz hands or every pose back-bended and I didn’t want to hear clapping at demo’s and so on. I was craving a more sober practice with an introverted focus, a clarity of inner experience and I felt the need for quiet inside myself. I saw symtoms of great imbalance in myself, in my students and in my colleagues and I wanted to steer my work with students in a different direction. I was happy to talk about Grace and I was happy to consder the Guru but I did not want to continue to feed a certain stream of practice in the same way that I had been for many years. I likened the situation to a “break-up” with a lover. You know, you break up with a lover and well, if you keep having sex.... well, it is harder to really break up and almost impossible to move on.
And with some lovers, after you can break up you can actually become friends. I have people in my life like that. The former history adds a depth of honesty and the new- found boundary keeps a clarity that creates a friendship like no other. And with other lovers, well, you simply can’t be friends. It is an all-or-nothing proposition. Anyway, lest this yoga blog turn into a “sex and the city" blog, suffice it to say, it all depends. Two years after I have resigned from Anusara, I find it easier to be friends with the method and its manifestations than it used to be. Certain knots within me have loosened and certain edges have softened. None of my opinons are any different than they were two years ago and yet the charge is a bit different and my gratitidue for my experiences in Anusara is fuller and more in the forefront of my experience.
The big dfference now is not just me, I do not think. What the dissoultion of the structures that upheld Anusara seemed to have created for me is the ability to have a more honest conversation with people in and out of the method. I personally was never outraged about our dysfunction as a community. I was never outraged that the Universal Principles were more general than they were Universal and that they didn’t always “work” for everyone. I personally was upset that we were without viable mechanisms to communicate honestly and truthfully with one another about these things. And volumes have been written and expressed about why that was and so I want to conscioulsy shy away from any commentary about that in this post.
What is also interesting to me is that I am also part of another spiritual community where these problems exist outside of alignment of the body, outside of postural interpretations but where the pressures conform to group ideals is so overwheleming that personal honesty is often sacrificed and compromised to the pressure of the group-mind. And while I am compassionate about this dynamic, I have to say, it no longer interests me as a paradigm of relationship. And I hang out in other asana communities where similar dynamics are present as well and so to me this is not a “Anusara problem” but a consideration of community, group dynamics, power differentials, and so on.
At any rate, I found myself talking a ton about Anusara yoga this weekend and interpreting my instructions a lot through that lens. More than usual. I think because the studio was so steeped in the work of Anusara and the students were so clearly trained in the system, it was a very natural conversation in which to be. So much of what and how I teach is informed by my deep immersion into Ansuara yoga and it creates a very strong matrix of understanding for me. I have added other influences and broadened my perspectives but Anusara yoga is a very fundamental perspective for me nonetheless. (And to be clear, I do make a distinction between my undertanding of the principles and how they were/are often taught, perceived and understood by others, but that is another topic for anther day, )
If I had to criticize my teaching for the weekend (and, no I do not have to criticize my teaching but if you are me, every teaching experience provdes an inquiry of “what worked” and “what could be improved” and “what were the costs and benefits of the choices I made as as teacher throughout the weekend?”) then I would have to say maybe we veeered a bit toward the intellectual end of the spectrum. I am thinking about this a lot these days and it is clear to me that we teach yoga so much through the practice itself-- in and through the experience of the subject and its application. In general I think this is great- in the sense that yoga is about eating the meal, not simply reading a recipe or looking at a menu, etc. At the same time, becuase of this highly experiential approach, we have teachers teaching who do not know why they say the things they say and do the things they do and teach the things they teach. There is, after all, the theory of the practice and the practice of the practice and when these domains are balanced we know what to do, how to do it, why and how better to trouble shoot when problems arise.
We teach a multi-faceted subject--where the intellect, the emotions, the spirit are all joined in and through a physical practice-- in a public-access exercise class. To practice yoga intelligently and safely over a long time I think we need to know a lot about our own bodies, about the body in general, about the postures, about the context of the practice, about our own psychology as we practice, about our own temperament, about how to be in relationship to our teachers and their temperament and teaching style and so on. Really, this is such a vast subject that there is no way all we need to know about how to engage it can be communicated in a few soundbites throughout class nor can sophisicated alignment be captured in a few verbal cues no matter how good the cues are.
So, seemingly simple questions like “Should I squeeze my buttocks in this back bend?” or “What about pointing v. flexing the feet?” and “You said to push down in that pose and I thought we were supposed to draw in?” can certainly be answered in one or two senteneces but I do not think that clarity and understanding generally comes with simple answers. Maybe simple answers are good intially, while you are building a matrix of knowledge and establishing yourself in protocols, but over time, once the matrix is built, simple questions often require longer explanations to sort out the variables involved and the context that lives behind the cues.
At any rate, I am (obviously, right?) not a one-word kind of teacher when it comes to questions. It is my gift and my downfall, probably. I have strong opinions and all that but I am generally aware of more than one right answer about anything so it is so hard for me to just say “yes” or “no”. I remember when I was in school I would fail true-false tests, do better on mulitple choice and ace any essay test that was presented to me. (Some things never change, I suppose.) I think that is one of the things I like so much about my asana junkies programs these days is that we have a chance to go through the questions when we are all sitting down talking yoga, not in the midst of the practice. Makes me think that a designated Q&A in a weekend workshop might be a good way to go.
Anyway- the weekend was great. I enjoyed myself a lot and even had to time to work on the promotional materials for an online program I am offering with Gioconda Parker. We are taking many of the elements of our teacher training program and creating an online offering that will be awesome. Check it out. http://www.livethelightofyogaonlineschool.com.
I am on my way home from a 4-day retreat in Santa Fe, NM with Patricia Walden. I really can’t say enough about how great it was be there, to have a chance to learn from a master practitioner and teacher and to be welcomed into the Iyengar Yoga community for the weekend. I enjoyed just about every aspect of the experience- the asana, the pranayama, the company, the teachings, the weather, the food, the time as a student, the relaxed schedule of retreat, etc. It was awesome in so many ways.
There is a lot of information- both at the level of technical data as well as from reflections about my own sadhana and about teaching and learning--from the weekend I am still chewing on. I have so many impressions to digest and assimilate. I will be writing more about them as the weeks go by for sure. It was truly a great time.
One thing that is on my mind right now has a lot to do with lineage in asana studies, studentship and how one cultivates discernment in themselves and in their students.
A bit of the back story- I got started in my asana studies in Iyengar yoga in 1991 under the guidance of a great Iyengar teacher, Gayna Uransky. I also dabbled in Bikram yoga and Ashtanga vinsyasa yoga over the years and landed back in Iyengar yoga as a primary method of study until I met Desirae Rumbaugh in 1999 and John Friend in 2000. And while I went down the road of Anusara studies and followed it to certification in 2003 and taught it for years and in many ways still do-- I never lost contact with my ties to Iyengar yoga or Ashtanga vinyasa yoga. (and also, we can’t really say anusara is a pure lineage anyway, in my opinion. Once we stepped onto that path we were solidly in synthesis and I see that as one of John’s great talents and gifts. But that is a story for another day.) I even made some wonderful friends in the more free-style world of vinyasa and I had a great opportunity to spend time teaching alignment to many great Baptiste teachers. A few years ago, I walked back into Bikram yoga after a decade or more and found that I could get a lot of help with my practice from some of their long-time teachers and practitioners. I outline all this to say that while I have studied and practiced asana for a while now, I am not a purist and I can not claim a lineage when it comes to asana. (Ask me about my guru and I will tell you that despite all kinds of odds and absurdities, my eggs are in one basket. But in terms of asana studies, I am a mixed-breed.)
I didn’t plan it that way. I love lineage. I value tradition. I believe in the teacher-student relationship. The bhava of belonging to a group and sharing practice with like-minded people is one of my most favorite states. I am so pitta that I would love to adhere strictly to one thing and one way and have the certainty and even identity that sort of approach affords a person over time. In fact, I often look with admiration, if not envy, at those practitioners who have such a relationship to asana. I am into it. I really am.
And yet, here I am- in a yoga practice that is more about convergence and confluence than it is about swimming in a pure stream. Don’t get me wrong, I am not an “anything-goes-yogi” or a “do-my-own-thing- yogi” even though my mixed-breed label might imply that I am haphazard or even cavalier in my approach to asana study and practice. Nothing of the sort is true. I am very dedicated to being a sincere, respectful and earnest student of whoever is teaching me. I do my best to, as quickly as possible, grok the protocols of whatever learning environment I am in and to follow them as best I can. (For instance, in Iyengar yoga, if a pose hurts, you better ask for help in the moment. In Bikram yoga, stop doing the posture, stand in tadasana or kneel in vajrasana or lie in savasana instead of continuing in the pain and ask for help after class. I could go on about this at length but my point is simply that every system has a way of educating and I do my best to meet the system on its own terms, not demand the classroom experience conform to mine.) And when I am on my own mat, I am working to incorporate the teachings in as clear and unembellished way as possible.
Certainly, what I might be working on in any different phase of study varies, but that I am working on something is consistent. That I am practicing is constant. And no matter what content I am practicing I never feel like “Now I am doing Iyengar yoga” and “Now I am doing Bikram yoga” and “Now I am doing Ansuara yoga” when I am on my mat alone. All of those labels and titles are nowhere near my field when I am practicing the things I have learned in any of those styles or systems. To me, I am simply practicing postures and trying to get myself organized so that a certain recognition arises inside. (Of course, this is another topic for another day.)
At any rate, I am not suggesting that someone learn or practice or teach yoga like I have. My approach has plenty of complications, pitfalls and challenges. I honestly think learning one way- at least initially- is probably best- but that is not how I came to asana or how asana came to me. The way it all seems to have gone down with me is that I have, through a strange blend of circumstance, choice, personality and curiosity found myself a student of great teachers in a variety of styles and growing in the synthesis of what I have learned from each, rather than in the pure experience of one or the other.
And I am not complaining, mind you. I am happy with the education I have received and I love my asana practice and what I have learned in and through it. I have found myself at this convergence of rivers or yogas styles at a time in the history of yoga where factions are rising and falling within traditions, where icons and luminaries are passing, where styles are blending and merging, where yoga has become a “healthy entertainment industry” as much (if not more) than it is a spiritual pursuit and where old structures of authority are colliding with new paradigms of leadership, transparancy and authentic expression. Because I have had so many positive experiences in many different styles of yoga I find that a respectful regard for difference has come naturally for me over the years because I have met amazing practitioners and wonderful teachers in every system. I have seen people in every system heal. I have taken some nugget of gold from every stream I have swam in. So I have been forced, time and again, to remember the first piece of advice my guru ever gave to me directly: “Don’t become a fundamentalist.”
One of the definitions of fundamentalism is “a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles”. Another definition reads “a usually religious movement or point of view characterized by a return to fundamental principles, by rigid adherence to those principles, and often by intolerance of other views and opposition to secularism.” To me, the problematic issue of yoga fundamentalism is not the lineage, the structures, or the sanity that one-way-over-the-long-haul affords. The problems with yoga fundamentalism is in the “literal adherence”, “rigid adherence”, and “intolerance of other views” that marks that particular viewpoint. And perhaps the “intolerance” part might be the most toxic, if I had to pick one thing with which to take issue.
Certainly, one can be a whole-hearted subscriber and adherent to a system and tradition without being a fundamentalist. So too, can someone be a a “yoga mutt” like myself and be sincerely committed to the art of asana. As I see it there will always be the purists holding down one end of the conversation and there will always be the mad-scientists exploring the boundaries, experimenting with the alchemy of elements involved and sometimes discovering great new advances and sometimes making something different but not necessarily better. I suppose, too, there will always be the anarchists who like to do their own thing just because and there will always be the profiteers who only want to package things and sell them. So, every group has every archetype.
What I object to these days is the intolerance and lack of regard for either pathway. I suppose I am growing a bit intolerant of intolerance. (oh, the irony...) In our little corner of the yoga world here in Austin, TX there has been a lot of drama and upheavel around some of these issues and more than a few misunderstandings, name calling and hurt feelings. I had a bit of a mama-bear feeling arise in the midst of it all knowing that so many of my students- who I think are some of the most sincere people around- are in the front lines of teaching yoga, day in day out, in Austin, TX and living in the real-life tensions of making a living, offering something of value, teaching too much, not practicing enough, and the ongoing sorting-through of the myriad of issues that arise personally and collectively in this seemingly-wonderful thing called teaching yoga. And in the midst of those tensions, criticisms- even when they hold nuggets of truth- land hard in the heart of a hard-working teacher.
The new yoga student today is starting teaching in a completely different world than the one in which I was learning when I got started. When I started yoga was not cool yet, there were a handful of videos out but no online classes, no facebook, no studio on every corner. Nor were there so many stylistic options- you had bikram, sivananda, iyengar and ashtanga to choose from. If you wanted to learn yoga, you did what was offered and chose from what was available. And there were only a few classes a week at most places so you were expected to practice on your own and come to class, not for practice, but to learn how to practice. And as far teaching goes, no one, in those days expected to make a living from it. Studios were rare, senior teachers hard to find and workshops were so occasionally offered that people came from miles around to attend when a visiting teacher was in town.
I started teaching yoga in 1998. Manouso Manos was my primary teacher at the time and I went up to him at a workshop and asked him if he thought I was ready to teach. The conversation went something like this:
Me: “So my friend is opening a yoga studio in January and she asked me if I would teach there. When I got out of college and I was a counselor for teenagers, I thought I was really ready to help people but as soon as I was into it I was like, “Jesus, I am in over my head. Why in the world have they given me human lives to deal with when I am only 22?!” Is teaching yoga going to be like that? Is this going to be the kind of thing I look back on and say, “What was I thinking teaching yoga when I didn’t know anything?!”
Do you think I am ready to teach yoga?”
Manouso- “Of course you are ready to teach yoga!! Who in the small town where you live knows more about yoga than you?!!” (Big tall greek man, big loud booming voice.)
Manouso-- Look, if you lived in Berkeley or San Fransisco (which is where he lived) I wouldn’t tell you you are ready. But you live in the mountains of Arizona! You can help people there. (Then his voice softened and the mood changed a lot...) Look, we all start teaching too soon. Everyone starts teaching too soon. Those are the terms of the game. You will absolutely look back and see it was too soon. My advice to you is this: Start teaching. Teach only the postures that you can do. Maintain a relationship with a teacher who is senior to you that you can ask questions of. And safeguard your personal practice.
So, that was the blessing my teacher gave me. A year later, I saw him again and he asked me how it was going. My classes had gone from 3 people (Mary Kate, Sunny and Barry) to 6 after about 3 or 4 months. And by the time I saw him one year later I was amazed that most of my classes had 9-12 people in them. He told me that was wonderful. I was very pleased.
So like I was saying, it is different now. And in case I am misunderstood, this is not some treatise on “the good old days of yoga” as much as it is a way of outlining a few differences that I think influence- not the practice itself- but the conversation around the practice and the teaching style through which we share the practice with others.
The way I see it, my generation of teachers stands on the shoulders of some giants who made sacrifices to pursue this art and science before it was cool, when it didn’t provide a career, when nothing was entertaining about it and when it was hard to find a good yoga teacher becuase there were so few people teaching yoga. Nowadays, it may be hard to find a good teacher because there are so many people teaching yoga. (But I digress.)
Anyway, new practitioners are entering the stream every day. And these students are teaching way too early. (But we all have always started too early. Remember, those are the terms of the game.) In fact, the criticisms about yoga abound these days. Seems like you can’t get on Facebook without an article on “The 10 Cues Never to Give Again” or a survey about “What Drives You the Most Crazy in Yoga?” and “We Hate Rockstar Teachers and Here is Why” and “How Bad the Yoga Sucks Here” and some other commentary about what is f-ed up in yoga these days. And while I have a list of pet peeves about yoga the length of my arm and I have my own concerns about how all the yoga options may actually be hiding yoga, still I am bit fatigued these days by it all. In my more generous moments (of which I have many) I can see the value of the swing to some criticism. I mean for years, yoga, yoga teachers, etc. lived shrouded in a mist of “It’s all good” and the guru model of “Don’t question authority just assume if you don’t agree there is something wrong with you you need to change” and so I think there is value in a bit of taking the curtain away from OZ and for saying “The Emperor is naked, ya’ll”, I really do.
But the thing that I keep coming back to is, how, as a student can I grow? Where and with whom am I finding the best support for my practice?
And how, as a teacher, can I inspire and educate people in those aspects of practice I find important and meaningful without shaming, bullying, or creating unneccesary harm from my conscious and unconscious biases and fundamentalist intolerances? Can I be happy when they come to my class and happy when they leave if what I have offered is not for them? As a teacher who works a lot with teachers, I am very interested in how I can bring the next generation of practitioners and teachers up in a way that is intelligent, respectful, effective and relevant for them without sacrificing what I think are the fundamental aspects if asana practice that need to be preserved.
Anwyay, these are not an easy questions to answer and lord knows, I have made a lot of mistakes along the way as a teacher and a student. Most insight I have about teaching yoga has come from my mistakes and from recognizing the many ways I have missed the mark over the years. I have my own list of casualties and people I have hurt in the process of growing up as a person and a teacher.
But look, I am not without hope. When I am involved in my work- in the actual work of practicing and learning and in the actual act of teaching people how to practice asana intelligently- I am very happy with what I see in front of me. In the efforts we make on the mat to get our arm straight, to learn how to stabilize and stretch and even in the struggle to get out a mat and do a few poses in the midst of our busy days, something is happening in the lives of my students and friends that seems meaningful. People may comment “it has no lineage it might not be real yoga” or “it is in a hot room it is not real yoga” or whatever else they might say about whether what we are doing is “real yoga” or not. Some days I think, you know, this might not be yoga but it does seem to be helping people get through the day.
And today, that is enough for me.
It has been a long time since I last wrote. Seems like every time I sit down to write a blog entry, I open up my email first and then get pulled into the administrative work of setting appointments, scheduling future dates, writing workshop descriptions, building websites and answering questions from students enrolled in current programs. And then before I know it, either my time for writing has passed or my creative juice is spent.
Anyway, here I am this morning in Kanas City with a cup of tea, reflecting on the last few weeks. Gioconda Parker and I launched the Alchemy of Flow and Form Advanced Teacher Training with a visit from Carlos Pomeda to talk about the History of Yoga and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. It was an awesome weekend for me.
I have always loved studying with Carlos. His presentation is clear, orderly, thoughtful, logical and he has a remarkable gift of answering questions without making anyone feel stupid and yet never letting the conversation get too far afield. I always feel that when I study with him I am getting an accurate and respectful rendering of the text without much interpretation.
This year the thing that struck me most was really how kind and humble Carlos is as a person. For many days after the training, that was my primary take-away. Don't get me wrong, all the usual stuff about the text was there and he was a clear as ever in his teaching and I found the actual information quite interesting and inspiring. But more than that, his presence was what communicated to me. He was thoughtful, kind, and many times showed himself to be down-to-earth about his own challenges and shortcomings without ever once diminishing himself, selling out on the teaching, or putting anyone else down. And his commitment to the path of awakening was inspiring. Once again I was reminded that as teachers, WHO we are might just be the primary communication we make.
And the other take-away I am still considering is that the form that hatha yoga has taken over the many years since the Pradipika has really stayed the same and also changed dramatically. I found it so refreshing (and at times a bit overwhelming) to have the trainees in the room ask questions about teachings of yoga that they had received over the years and for Carlos to kindly and without shame, point out that "Well, there is no evidence for that in the tradition". It happened a lot. Of course that does not mean some of the innovations are not useful and effective. And, of course, for new things to come along, they are, well, new-- so they might not be sitting there in some old book. But still the same, I am chewing on which things are new and effective and which things are simply new.
A lot could be said on this for sure, but like I said, I am still chewing.
The next weekend, Kelly and I went to Portand, Oregon. We took a few days of R&R and then I taught the course called Cracking the Code which I had recently taught in Tucson. I taught it as a weekend workshop, instead of a 5-day training and I certainly noticed the shorter time. In fact, I think this course would probably be best as a year-long course, but even in a small doses, I think I shared a lot of good information. There are so many gems in Light on Yoga and there are so many funny things like "inhale and place your leg behind your head" that need some, shall we say, unpacking in order to make use of.
At any rate I alway love going to Portland to visit. This year fall was in its peak with the leaves were changing and incredibly beautiful weather. There is such an amazing culture there of great food and drink, gorgeous nature and a conscientious eccentricity that always makes Portland a very fun place to visit.
This was my second visit back to The Bhaktishop to teach. The Bhaktishop is full of sincere practitioners of diverse backgrounds and training with very open minds and hearts. It is mostly a vinyasa studio so I am always honored to come and be the teacher I am which is not-so-flowy these days. (Another story, for sure. I can certainly teach flow but it is not my primary style or first affinity.)
Teachers and students from all over the area were there and it was a fun weekend for me. As much as I love going new places to teach I am always more relaxed when I visit a studio the second and third time. I feel more at home and more myself. Lisa Mae and her new business parter Audra are awesome hosts and made me and Kelly feel so welcome and at ease.
I taught the asana classes a little differently than my normal sequencing style since I was following some formats from Light on Yoga so that was different for me and the sessions were shorter than I am used to so I was also juggling the reduced time to present the information. I think we all wished for longer asaana sessions but with so much of the weekend designated as Teacher Training the asana got cut short.
The land in Oregon is full of majestic mountains, flowing waterfalls and grand views. One of the traditions Kelly and I have on our visits is to hike a 10-waterfall hike around Multnomah Falls which is always inspiring.
One fun thing we did while we were there was get some folding bicycles to ride and so we rode all over the city on our breaks and on our personal days after the workshop. It was so great to explore the surrounding areas on bike and to be outside in the fresh air during such an amazing time of year. Very good times.
On a personal note, I am very happy about having an awesome little commuter bike to take on some of our trips in the future so you can expect some pictures of our travels with bikes. (They fold up into a suitcase and can be checked baggage so really, all kinds of things are possible!) Anyway, the bikes definitely elevated the experience into something quite different than usual and very refreshing.
I was home in Austin for a few days and then I headed out to Kansas City to teach at The Yoga Gallery. The weekend has been really great and fun for me. As much as I loved working with Light on Yoga in the last workshops I have to say that having a somewhat blank slate upon which to create a weekend plan was a welcome change from the last two programs I taught. But having recently visited Light on Yoga in so much depth I did find that my teaching had a renewed clarity and focus from the study.
I think that is the thing about study. I have been thinking about how important it is to spend time on the subject without thinking or worrying about how I am going to present or teach the information. And between the two courses on Light on Yoga and the course on the Pradipika I have had a good dose of study this last month. To me, there is a delight in sinking my teeth into the material and working with what it means to me in theory and in practice and then watching-- as that process percolates and integrates-- how it shows up in my teaching.
I have the good fortune to teach a lot of yoga teachers and this "sinking our teeth into study without regard for how we are going to teach it" is something that I really feel needs to be a point of emphasis. When we step onto the path of teaching yoga (and I do believe it is a sadhana to teach) several amazing things seem happen for folks. One is we suddenly realize that teaching yoga to others and helping them understand the practice is a completely different thing than being on our own mats enjoying a good time. For many folks this is a wonderful and uniquely humbling experience to find out that creating a yoga class that others will benefit from is not the same thing as being able to outline what kind of class we like or we think is good, etc.
The other thing that often happens is that we get a chance to clarify what we know and what we do not know. many times, when our students ask us about something we find we can answer with authority we didn't even know we had. Somehow our students pull wisdom and knowledge out of us and into our awareness and make us connect our own dots of understanding. Many times in the effort to explain a concept to others we get clear on it for ourselves and our own "ah-hah moment"s come as a result of teaching. It is so awesome.
And the other thing I notice a lot is that teachers stop thinking about themselves as practitioners and start thinking about themselves as teachers. Without realizing it, they often stop studying the subject of yoga itself and start studying how to teach the subject to others. And while, for many of us, those domains are related to one another, I think it is important to detach a bit from the "How will I teach this?" line of questioning and return to "What does this teaching mean?", "What do I make of it personally?" and "How might I practice this in my own circumstance?" and so on. Truly these are different lines of inquiry than "How would I teach this?" and by returning our attention to ourselves and our practice through our studies we keep the fires of inspiration stoked and burning. For me a strong fire of inner sadhana ALWAYS funnels into my teaching in positive ways so like I said, the domains are related, but the context is really different.
Anyway, the weekend is in progress- we finish up tomorrow and then I head home. I have a few days home and then head to New Mexico to take a retreat with one of my favorite teachers. Patricia Walden. More study. Can't wait.
Follow This Blog
"There is a light that shines beyond all things on Earth, beyond us all, beyond the heaven, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the light that shines in our heart."