Gaining the upper hand

Some of my fellow trainee teachers have arranged to meet up today for some practice together. I’m feeling a little FOMO. Only a little — I’ve never been a tribal kind of person, so I’m pretty happy walking my own path. But the path feels a little cluttered just now, as I try to negotiate a balance between teaching practice and my own practice. My teacher tells me they should be the same thing. And I get this on a certain level — teach what you practise, teach what you know. But suddenly with a tiny bit of formal training everything feels different!

gialova garden lantern.JPGThe answer to all such interminable questioning (after a bit of email back and forth with my teacher as I seek reassurance) is to step onto the mat and take what comes. All the anxious questioning and the theoretical wondering falls away by actually doing. So this morning I hopped out of bed early, leaving Hubby snoozing a while longer, and found a quiet shady spot for some me-time on the mat. This is what I really need — to let go of the responsibilities and cares that weigh on me as I wonder what being a teacher might mean. I need to put myself first, to take my own yoga in hand. Fit your own oxygen mask, before helping others.

So I moved through my warmup and Surya Namaskar and then I just kept on going, turning down the silent verbal commentary and tuning more into where my body wanted to go. And if I stop thinking and just follow the breathing and the places my body asks to move to, nothing else matters. Not the fact that Hubby was looking down from our balcony and asking me something I didn’t want to/couldn’t hear, not the fact that other guests were waking up and coming out for coffee and cigarettes nearby, small children pointing at me and wondering. I turned inward. I felt the warmth of the ground, the unevenness of the patio stonework, I saw the blue sky above me as my fingertips reached upwards, I enjoyed muscles responding to the demands I made and I revelled in sensations of length and space and lightness and vibrancy. My body turned this way and that way and eventually it slowed and my breath settled and the delicious after-yoga feeling of contentment enveloped me.

ardha chandrasana upper hand.JPGAfterwards someone joked as I walked past that I should start a morning class — but with cigarettes and coffee, since this is Greece!!

And back in the apartment I found out what Hubby had been shouting to me: you’ve lost track of your upper hand in Ardha Chandrāsana!

I’d also lost track of my notebook and the fact that I intended to record what I practised so I could be more conscious of what I might come to teach. Oh well, I’ll come back to the mat later in the day and do something more about teaching practice and less about me.


4 thoughts on “Gaining the upper hand

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  1. The fact that I teach yoga asana can oftentimes hijack my own practice! There is a danger that everything becomes I do on the mat triggers my mind to think – could I use this in my class – ? It takes me out of the present moment. So that is the challenge for me – to find the balance between truly experiencing something in my practice and theoretically dissecting it for later “use”.
    I’ve almost finished my first reading of Tias Little’s YOGA OF THE SUBTLE BODY and it’s a must read, babycrow!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. interesting to hear this, k8! I thought this might be a very temporary phase but you suggest that this in an ongoing balance to achieve. I can imagine this!
      Ah, I already gave it and bought Tias Little’s book just before I came away. I’ve not had a chance to study it yet though — just an enticing flick through! Can’t wait to get to it for a proper read and contemplation, but it’ll have to wait until training finishes in late August. No spare brain space at all right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are cultivating a valuable skill as a fledging yoga teacher: always return to your own practice. During my assessment preparation I have attended many sessions with peers. Sometimes I have learned a lot, other times were a complete waste of time. I have never said that about practicing by myself. Yoga is not a team sport, it is an individual pursuit. Therefore there is no fear of missing out. Are you in Greece btw?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks yogibattle. i found your words very comforting — and amusing! (“not a team sport”!!).
      Yes in Greece just one more day — a quick visit between training weekends.


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