In the next thrilling instalment following my farewell to the Sanskrit professor and his super-fast class, I’m happy to report I’ve already found myself a new teacher! He teaches an adult group for just one hour a week, and it slots in perfectly right before my favourite yoga class of the week. Wow!
Now Sanskrit feels like the joy I wanted it to be rather than the drudge it could easily become. I feel comfortable enough in my new class to stop and ask questions when I need clarification. There are no expectations of brilliance (other than those voices in my head!). And the best bit — the teacher offers vocabulary clues in Ancient Greek! I’ll admit wouldn’t necessarily be a bonus for everyone but it works for me — and it nicely feeds my ego! See, I might be struggling with Devanāgarī, but at least my Greek is OK. When I didn’t know what पतति (patati) meant, telling me it was cognate with πίπτω (pipto) made everything perfectly clear!! 🙂
In class tonight we just learned the imperatives “be!” and “laugh!”. Slightly random words, but we were just practicing reading and writing Devanāgarī so the semantics weren’t really important.
Or maybe they are coincidentally important, since actually these two commands had a very yoga feel and fitted nicely with my experiences this week.
So yoga class tonight was all about ‘being wild’, daring to be what and where we are, finding and expressing ourselves on the mat — as we don’t usually in real life. It might sound kind of goofy after the event but I was feeling ready for anything today. It was easy in this atmosphere to ‘be’ and to ‘laugh’. My teacher was in playful mood — threatening to make us all dance! I love that my teacher can get us playing around in our heads and our bodies, whilst retaining a really serious purpose behind all this. It’s a serious game, this yoga, this life, this ‘being’.
As I skipped out after class I stood in the dark at the bus stop and suddenly really, really wanted to take my shoes off and feel the ground under bare feet. So I did. And the autumn leaves felt really nice! Maybe not totally wild, but a little uninhibited at least. And I carried the reduced inhibitions along with me as I sang my way off the bus at the other end of town. Singing in Sanskrit is my new normal! More peculiar than wild, but it’s all good!
And (because all good things come in threes!) I had finally got up the courage to talk to my meditation teacher after class last night. I have been seriously struggling with that side of my practice at the moment and suffering in silence — literally! My teacher with uncanny insight observed that I’m rather gritting my teeth and enduring the meditation practices, rather than opening into them and bringing some playfulness and joy. Uh, yeah, that about sums it up. So he advised me to bring some of the joy from āsana practice into my sitting practice. This thought had been lurking unformed in the back of my head. I just needed my teacher to help me figure this out properly.
Grateful today to this wonderful triad of teachers who point me in the right direction and know which instruction to give: be and laugh. I try to be a good student but I feel almost guilty at being offered so much.
image source: psychologytoday.com