The two colleague-friends I’ve been teaching a little recently have insisted on paying me now and we’ve firmed up the arrangement to every week, rather than as and when. Their various summer holidays and business trips are over and now they’re ready to settle in. So all of a sudden I have a weekly commitment with regular students. Wow!
In my head at least I’m running round in circles with excitement, too many ideas of what I want to teach, too many anxieties about what maybe I should teach… How to balance just practising and joyfully accepting all the imperfections inherent in that against the rational desire to fix and improve through logical categories and structures!?
Now every morning when I sit down to meditate my brain goes into teaching-mode overdrive, churning through sequences, themes, ideas for class opening… All of a sudden I can’t find any focus. Now citta vṛtti seems supremely appropriate wording, neatly describing the whirling nature of my thoughts. My quiet early morning time no longer brings an easy peace; my brain is busy the moment my eyes open. Before my eyes open, even. Yoga inhabits my dreams.
And yet I also feel a responsibility. I must find some focus, I must find some steadiness in my practice on the mat, on the cushion. If I am in a whirl, I’m not going to be helping my students.
So I sit patiently each morning as the sun rises and allow my mind to settle a little. And in the evening I come to the mat for my own practice and/or to begin to develop a teaching focus and a sequence.
What am I teaching right now? I’m starting with the feet. I need this stability, as surely they do too: we are starting a new relationship, we are finding our feet together.
I’m trying to explore the anatomy of the feet through a variety of āsanas, to introduce the potential springboard of pāda bandha, to make yoga relevant by developing a theme of stability and groundedness of value in life not just in yoga, and I can’t help but want to chant:
vande gurūṇāṁ caraṇāravinde…
वन्दे गुरूणां चरणारविन्दे