9.12.2010

Lightbulbs


My personal practice these past several days has been truly inspired. I guess I'm still high on this grand new teaching adventure. My class last week went really well. It felt completely different -- worlds apart, really -- from my first class. Granted, when I taught my first class, I was running on two hours of sleep and surprised to be teaching at all, but last week was pretty great. I was not nervous. Excited, elated, joyful? Yes. But not nervous. It may have had something to do with the fact that I'd been taking awesome free classes all day, but the practice just flowed with simple truth from a quiet place inside, and the students flowed with me, breathing and moving with mindfullness and determination. I can't wait to teach again tomorrow.

New sequencing ideas are coming to me at random. Friday I was breathing in lizard pose and about to take my usual vinyasa when I heard a little voice say, "I don't think so. Let's do something different." So I lifted into eka pada koundinyasana II and seamlessly transitioned to visvamitrasana with a big toe bind in a single motion. Never done that before. It was very natural, and very nice on the hips. My first thought was wow! I need to teach this! Immediately following that thought, I realized just how insane I would need to be to try to teach that to my class. I teach an all-levels vinyasa class late in the evening, and that kind of thing just wouldn't be appropriate... which got me thinking about what I could do to make the sequence more accessible. This pondering resulted in a whole slew of new vinyasa ideas to choose from. I came up with a nice forearm sequence, which ultimately inspired an entire class focusing on the shoulders, which I intend to teach tomorrow night. It's as if the practice is revealing itself to me all over again. Oh! The possibilities!

My home practice has become less of an indulgence and more of a responsibility as of late. I feel compelled to practice every day not just for my own well being, but for the sake of my students and for my livelihood, or what I hope to someday transform into my livelihood. My energy levels are soaring, but even so, in spite of the overwhelming evidence that the practice is necessary and good, there is always that moment shortly after I step onto my mat in which I begin to question my motivation, to question why I am I putting my body through these motions. Most of the time, it's easy to ignore these questions: I am here on my mat in this moment because this is where I am supposed to be. And that's that. But occasionally I'm stuck wondering, my thoughts get caught in the sticky muck of sensation and I writhe and resist and struggle to carry on.

What would the practice be without these questions? If I were to cease to experience this resistance, then the practice itself would no longer be necessary, would no longer be good, so I choose to value these moments of doubt. These are the moments in which the practice does its work. These are the moments in which truth is revealed. Be open. Be ready.

2 comments:

  1. I love messing around on my mat and finding that amazing sequence that makes sense! Then it is fun to find ways to make it accessible to my students. Lovely post!

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  2. Thanks, Babs. Teaching has really expanded my vision of the practice in ways I never imagined and made my personal practice much more purposeful.

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