I think Hubby’s yoga is awesome. He has some pretty uncomfortable physical conditions to work with, and he does so with such equanimity and acceptance that I sometimes slip into thinking that he’s totally happy with the way his practice is. Really I know that’s not true, but he deals with his limitations so consistently. After some early hiccups of mis-practice and quite a lot of discussion at home about how to marry up his physio’s advice with what I could help him figure out about asana modifications, he’s now in a good spot with his practice and is currently going to classes with two different teachers who sound as though they’re looking after him well. Yep, you got it: I’m protective of Hubby and want to know he’s in good hands. And I’m a control freak.
Because he’s feeling more confident now, taking advantage of a lovely offer of some free passes from my studio, he came to class with me this morning for the first time. Nice? Of course! Slightly odd? That too…
We do sometimes practice together at home and he tells me a lot about his experiences in his classes, but him coming to my class was a novelty. So I wanted him to have a good time. And I wanted him to see what I see in my teacher and to value his teaching as I do. And then when we got to the studio, I suddenly found I also wanted my teacher to recognise the quality of Hubby’s practice. To see the honesty and bravery shining through his modifications. Not fancy, but not ego-driven either.
So much desire for approval, huh? No wonder my shoulders spent the whole class clenched up around my ears!! … though I also blame a solid (yes totally solid, no lunch, barely a comfort stop even!) day of meetings yesterday :(. Poor me!
And speaking of needing approval, when we chatted back home a recurrent theme from Hubby was about what positive reactions he detected in my teacher about various poses. Yep, I know Hubby has a lovely Ardha Chandrasana: but did my teacher signal some silent approval of it? And Hubby’s step throughs in sun salutes are light and graceful: did my teacher react to this? Perhaps… But in my experience teachers rarely compliment in any obvious way — though of course Hubby jokes this is because my practice is rubbish! That’s a marital joke, he’s not really as mean as that sounds in print of course! Anyhow I get my own back by offering a mini lecture on non-judgement, the need for finding one’s inner wisdom, humility, non-attachment and the need for each practitioner to define their own practice… and so on…
So then after seeking approval in various directions I find I’m left with some hovering jealousy at the thought that my teacher might have signalled approval to Hubby and not to me, and that Hubby more naturally embodies the concepts I have to practice very consciously and deliberately. He’s never read Patanjali, he doesn’t know any Sanskrit, he’s not bothering about ishvara pranidhana. He just listens to his body and responds wisely.
So it may have been a first class for Hubby, but the experience certainly taught me a lot!