Again a quick word from my TT whirlwind, to capture a moment, although I am too tired for careful words. Stay with me, my beloved readers.
We’ve been given class by a few different teachers these past days. We’re encouraged to talk about our experiences of them afterwards, as both students and student teachers. I confessed that oftentimes when I come to class I’m full of reluctance. Do I love yoga or do I hate it? It’s a difficult relationship. But as my teacher observed, I do keep coming back, so that says something. Hopefully not simply that I’m a masochist…
I felt bad admitting this to my fellow students, as though I’m supposed to be relentlessly positive about yoga. Can you be a good yoga teacher who feels unsteady and ambivalent in their own practice? I play a lot with expectations and intentions in my practice. I find myself talking about this a lot these past days. How to come to the mat full of hope and anticipation, yet to expect nothing from it necessarily and be OK with that?
And these past few classes have been powerful moments, some of the strongest Yoga I’ve experienced. One class I announced I was putting my mat full in the centre of the room because I needed to feel energy around me; I needed the shared experience of practice to hold me up. And my yoga was pretty sweet that day.
The next class was really intense for me. I was dimly aware that one neighbour reached out to hold my hand in some supine pose; the other asked me if I was OK the moment we sat up at the end of the practice. I ignored both of them. I was so deep inside.
The boy on my course (yes, there’s only one) came and asked me afterwards to describe my experience. He said although I was behind him he could feel something emanating from my part of the room, waves of happiness. He had to turn round to try to identify the feeling and when he saw me, he knew it was coming from me. I couldn’t explain to him, of course. All I could do was offer the Guru mantra to him. I wasn’t trying to be clever or esoteric, but it kind of summed it up for me: a sense of repeating cycles of birth and death, a feeling of freedom and surrender, and a deep uncomplicated gratitude. A peace.
So he rolled his mat out next to mine for the following class. And afterwards he said he could feel such intense happiness coming from me. The girl on the other side who was in choking tears during much of the practice said she could feel my heart stretching out toward her all the time.
At lunchtime today I heard the boy tell the group: “if you do one thing in the rest of the course, it’s practise next to her”.
What is this? I would not have believed this kind of talk previously. And yet…
I can’t explain. It was beautiful and a little scary.
And so — I just let it go. There’s nothing else to do. No expectations. This is all too much.