It’s funny being back at my home studio after holidays. It’s a nice ‘homecoming’ to be with my regular teacher again, in a familiar space, and catching up with yogi friends. But the pause, the distance, changes everything. For a while at least. I’m seeing things afresh. I’m more aware of old habits as I encounter them anew. Not always comfortable viewing, but the in-sight is a gift and something to be grateful for. So much opportunity. So much to witness and learn from.
Given that my practices on holiday were mostly solitary, being in a busy studio is also a little overwhelming. I’ve been trying to embrace that with friendly conversations before and after class, instead of wanting to retreat into my yogic focus. Engagement not withdrawal, participant not just witness. I love my yoga crew so maybe I need to show them a little of how much I value them and what they unknowingly offer me.
I also had a bit of a ‘back to school’ feeling. People filing up and down the stairs, queuing outside the yoga room, gathering the paraphernalia they want for class. And the vocabulary of class and teacher, of learning and paying attention. What will I learn today? I was never this eager and receptive at school where the dichotomy of right and wrong stiffled exploration and playfulness, where authority and respect were imposed rather than earned.
At the studio I’m struck by the sense of community my teacher generates. He is primus inter pares, leading our practice yet also participating in it, seemingly at one with everyone in the room. I think he’s mastered that siddhi of being able to move through time and space — how else can he attend to so many students around the room with such intricacy and attention to detail apparently simultaneously? He was clearly under-prepared for evening teaching after a day of TT, and it was fascinating to watch him reading his own body and the energy of the room and literally feeling his way into the flow alongside us. Whatever the formal teaching of class might have been, this was the lesson for me: how to ground oneself and become fully present through breath awareness and bodily movement and then allow everything to expand out from that. Freedom flowing up from secure foundations. There was a dance throughout class of formal and informal shapes, of moving in unision and in exploring our individual rhythms. It was poetry in motion.
I slept like a baby afterwards. Perhaps even my jetlag knows that we’re really home now.