I’ve just done my first home practice after the initial teacher training weekend. A practice I’ve been looking forward to and dreading in equal measure. Of course it all feels weirdly different and I’m as self-conscious as a beginner! Now I have part of a teaching script running in my head, and the first part of practice warming up and through Surya Namaskar into standing poses felt almost mechanical as I voiced it in my head. Rhythmic but slightly on auto-pilot. Too much head-thoughts. And as I reached the limits of my memorised regimen, doubts started creeping in. “Shouldn’t this be an inhale to rise into this pose? So why do I find myself on an exhale? Should I take a breath to stabilise?” None of these thoughts were present in my practice before, I simply moved the way I needed to move. Now I panicked as the script ran out. What on earth would I do now? My head was suddenly empty…!
Eventually I let go of this thinking and found myself moving more naturally. Just letting the body breathe and unfurl. I’d played through the script as per TT homework (tick!), so then it was time to let go the structure and have some free-form fun. One of my fears in doing TT was that it would alter my relationship with yoga — and not necessarily in a good way. So today was an interesting first foray into the evolution of this relationship. A first step towards marrying my own practice with what may become my teaching practice.
It’s an exciting possibility.
I even had an audience for my practice today. I’m on a short holiday in Greece and had taken my mat out onto the back terrace to catch a little breeze and enjoy some privacy. But there’s no privacy in the Mediterranean culture! Next door’s child and then his mother came out and watched. They were silent but I could see their feet every time I came back through into downdog. I usually hate being watched as I practise. It feels like an intrusion. This time, however, I was really able to ignore it on an emotional level. I knew I’m meant to be here doing this. The world can turn around me, but I am steady on my mat.
All the talk of ‘grounding’ in TT might be having some stabilising effect on me after all!
Or maybe it’s just the fact that I’ve been scrutinised endlessly during the TT sessions as we learn to observe each other’s bodies in motion.