In these strange socially-distant times, where I haven’t physically interacted with anyone other than my husband for nearly eight weeks, I could easily regress into full on privacy mode, hiding myself at home away from the world. I’m deliberately not doing that. I was working quite hard on my ‘trust issues’ (horrible phrase, I know) before lock-down and I’m not going to let that hard work slide now. Social distancing makes it both easier and harder to keep expanding my comfort zone, my sphere of trust. Even in self-isolation, I’m trying to keep reaching out and to keep on exploring, trying new things — or new ways to do old things!
So I had my first zoom private with my yoga teacher recently. Meeting one to one is always a great opportunity to practice un-hiding! He encourages me to breathe more freely, stand more steadily, make bigger shapes using the whole space of my body (and a little bit beyond, where the magic is! 🙂 ) — all in the quest simply of being more truly me. His patient exhortations take me out of my safe place and feel wonderful and terrifying all at once.
I suspect neither of us were quite sure how zoom would support the work we had been doing. In person my teacher is super-observant and easily focuses on a whole array of small actions or movement patterns where I’m unaware — the action is lacking in quality or the movement is inefficient. But even online, we still managed to explore some super-interesting things and as usual I took away a load of ideas to try out for myself and see how to make them my own. The whole experience was so immersive, needing to concentrate so much more via zoom, that I totally forgot to feel as self-conscious as I usually do 🙂 Definite win!
Hot on the heels of that I gave my own first yoga private. I met with a new student who’s been coming to my online classes as a newbie and wanted a bit more personalised guidance. I actually think this was one of my favourite teaching experiences to date! Given how difficult I find it to trust, I was filled with joy (and a bit of envy!) that she was so ready to trust someone she’s never physically met. She is such a willing student, I could learn much from her. She was really unselfconscious and eager to learn and she repeated moves and poses until she understood enough. I’m sure she was much easier for me to teach than I was for my patient teacher 😦
And this week brought another first — an online meeting with my bodyworker who kindly offered some advice on a niggle we’ve been working on. If seeing my yoga teacher made me miss him more in person, you can multiple that feeling out several times in the case of my bodyworker. Never mind the odd yoga assist from my teacher, with my bodyworker the whole experience is hands-on. And I am seriously craving the healing feel of her hands, her reassuring presence, as well as the wonderful hug I always get on parting company. I heaved a deep sigh when we hung up the connection and resigned myself to digging deep and following her advice — even though it was all that subtle difficult stuff she loves to give me, encouraging me to inhabit my body with more loving curiosity than I feel ready for. More trust stuff, you see. The issues in the tissues and all that…
First times are just the beginning. When first times go well, you commit to more. I’m already smiling at how good it is to be in the company of my yoga elders who share so willingly from their own places of self-isolation. That in itself inspires me to keep up with my practice (surely I owe them that!) and to keep up with my teaching practice, sharing in turn the best of what I can offer my own students.