My teacher often catches me unawares with a seemingly plain comment that then echoes round in my head for days or weeks, or sneaks up on me way after the event with a new truth suddenly revealed.
So it was today. I recalled his words to me during TT recently, a day when I’d left the room feeling overwhelmed by the expectations (my own mostly, of course) that weighed too heavily on my exhausted mind and body. We were studying backbends. My fragile spot at the moment. My yogic nemesis. I suddenly couldn’t do it: I couldn’t coax my body (or frightened mind) into these vulnerable shapes and certainly couldn’t rise to the expectation of leading anyone else into this terrifying landscape of open-heartedness. I just couldn’t stay in the room.
He came and sat with me, leaving his co-teacher to continue the session and asked me why it it was that I was sitting in a miserable heap in the hallway outside the studio instead of just going through the technical details of backbending along with everyone else. His response to the two brickwalls I encountered during TT (“I just can’t do it”) was the same: “You are doing it. I see you doing it”.
And today? Am I doing it today too, now that TT is over and ordinary yoga life resumes and I must pick up where I was, the same but different?
Well, it seems so.
I led Hubby through a practice. It didn’t go at all according to plan, but we modified together as we went along. He came out of it looking happy and complimenting my cuing (he found the most amazing Vīra 3 ever, apparently!) and I found it valuable talking through some postures I’ve not tried to teach before, and watching his body was so rich an experience. These baby steps in teaching left me feeling both of use and knowledgable enough. Result! My teacher was right: I am doing it. I am teaching. It’s at home, it’s modest, but it’s still teaching.
Then onto my own practice. In front of the mirror today, by chance. I usually avoid watching myself, preferring to feel from the inside out. But today I couldn’t help catching sight of myself every now and then. And what I saw in the mirror totally surprised me. I am strong, I am fluid, I am able to find where I am and modify postures accordingly, I can put together a sequence that feels right in my body. This too is a modest practice, but it’s still a practice. My teacher was right. I am doing it.
Why is this such a deal to me? Because in my head still yoga is something other people do. My practice right now is in reminding myself over and over again that I too am doing this. I am allowed to do this, and I actually need to do this. And perhaps other people might need me to do this too. One day I might have students who need me to do this for them and for their practice.
It’s quite a big thought. It’s an exciting thought. I’ll admit it: I’m making plans…
But for now there’s my practice to recommit to, a practice of new truths and new ways of
being — or of uncovering old truths and old ways of being… before the stuff of life got in the way.
While writing this Hubby showed me some pics he’d taken of me running through some sequences before yoga school one day (hence the socks and folder!). I don’t recognise myself here. Weird. But it’s definitely me — doing it.