Coming off of yesterdays intense work with chakras, I had no idea what to expect from today. But then again, that’s Prana lesson #1: release expectations.
We spent the morning with H, who broke down all the Sanskrit pose names. Really interesting to learn how simple it actually is and which names are connected to Hindu mythology. (Hanumanasana for example. Hanuman was the Monkey God and he lept across the ocean to rescue Shiva’s consort. The split was named for him since it looks like his legs as he lept over the ocean.)
JB was back (double hooray!) for the rest of the day. We finished worked through our pose/asana book and then broke into two groups to teach. Same flow as yesterday. I didn’t teach today, and while I’m a little bummed, I’m more glad because I still have a lot to assimilate from yesterday.
We also did a breathing workshop where we really got down to the basics of ujjayi breathing. Learned some great cues to get people to be comfortable with it and some modifications for people who are congested, pregant or menopausal.
Some of the feedback we got after the teaching was great! I took a ton of notes. Some of the highlights are:
— Drop the “the” and “that”. Make the directions personal. “Lift YOUR leg.” “Drop YOUR shoulder.”
— LEAD! You’re the teacher. Be confident. This reminded me of that quote “go confidently in the direction of your dreams.”
— No matter how many salutations you teach, find them exciting. Make them exciting. Find joy.
It was a long day (10 minute lunch break and no dinner break) but a good one.
I’m going to get a little more personal here, because I think it’s important to share how much more yoga has become as I move beyond the physical practice. So, if you want to quit reading here, that’s cool. It’s going to get a bit navel-gazey and emotional.
As I’ve been thinking more about the chakra workshop, the more things have become clear. The issues I held on to for so long had nothing to do with anyone else. It was me, choosing to hold on to the negative energy and emotions, and continue to be a victim of my own creation. This doesn’t diminish the fact that I had my heart shattered, but it helps put things into perspective.
Realzing that the above is true, it got me thinking how things and people come into your life at the right time. Yoga school has definitely come into my life at a time when I needed it most. In a new and loving relationship, I needed to learn to let go of the past, to learn how to forgive and love myself — otherwise this new relationship was going to fail. The work we did with chakras yesterday and the eyes-closed practice rocked me to the core. It felt like my heart was breaking all over again. On a cellular level I felt it. Like a punch to the stomach that makes you gasp for breath and feel like you’re going to throw up. Last night, when I got home, I stood in front of the mirror, looked into my own eyes and said “I’m sorry. I forgive you.” Oh my goodness, did the floodgates open. I had a good, solid sob session. It felt wonderful to just let it all out. I felt so much lighter and better for it. Taking a shower afterwards, it felt like I was uncovering new skin. When I woke up this morning, it felt like I had a new heart. I know this is all metaphor and euphamism but I can’t think of how else to describe it.
I can see, now, why it is so important to do the inner work yourself before asking anyone to come to their mat and practice. Without doing the work, there is no way to have empathy for those who are trusting you to guide them through the physical practice.
It feel good to know that for the first time in a long time I am in the right place, at the right time, doing the things I need to be doing. That k,ind of validation doesn’t come easy or often. Mentally, physically, spiritually and locationally (I know, not a word), I’m in the right place. Central Square looks new to me – it feels new. I have found a group of people I can connect with on a very intimate level … and I trust them. Maybe not everyone in the group, but there are people there who I feel as though I could pour my heart out and they would cradle it and care for it. It might be a side-effect of going through such an intense experience, that it’s a false sense of security, but I choose to beleive that it’s real.
All of this is pretty heavy stuff, I know. I’m still unsure how it’s all going to work out in the end. But I’m not worried. I feel confident that these are the lessons I need to be learning. The things about myself I need to be discovering. In the end, it will make me a better teacher (I hope) and certainly a better yoga student.