2.03.2012

Primary Friday: Revelations and Prostrations

Interesting practice this morning.  Yesterday, I experienced a great deal of post-practice discomfort deep in the right hip, just anteriorly of the joint, and felt as though my leg were more externally rotated than normal.  Then today in practice, the hip was stupid-open.  Janu C was at a whole new level.  Garbha P was no problem, arms and all.  The entry to Urdvha Padmasana was easier than ever.  It was amazing.

Then... something happened.  In Sirsasana, or rather, just after Sirsasana, in child's pose.  Face to the mat.  Tears.  Accompanied by a river of memories revealing the importance of a great teacher from my past, an importance that had been lost on me until now.  From there, the faces of other influential teachers sprang forth, one after another, and suddenly I found myself looking back on a long line of generous mentors and illuminators with a clarity that unveiled an exciting continuity, a pattern of ascension that I have never recognized before.

With my sweet and patient mother.  I'm helping, see?
I don't have many crying episodes in practice... in fact, I can think of only one... but this was different.  I was deeply overcome with gratitude.  I stayed in my prostration and wept, sending thanks to my teachers -- who have arrived in both animal and human form -- for their gifts, their sacrifice.

That is what it is, you know, the teaching:  self-sacrifice.  Perhaps not to the point of death, and surely this is more true in some fields than in others, but I believe it applies to teaching in every level and form.  Yoga comes to mind as one of the obvious realms.  Many aging teachers, particularly those of the Ashtanga tradition, travel almost constantly.  They sacrifice their practice and their bodies so that we may have a chance to save ourselves.

With Jericho, one of my greatest teachers.
This karmic exchange is beautiful and sad, and I have sensed it within those who have been most influential in my life, who have taught from the heart, with honesty, love, and respect.  This willingness not only to give but to give of oneself has shown in those who have been patient and, in doing so, taught me to have patience, in those who have been kind and taught me kindness, and in those who have been bold and taught me to be bold, to use my gifts, and to always chase the truth.

As I step, once again, into the role of teacher, the inevitability of this cycle is not lost on me.  Perhaps this is the shift.  I have cultivated my own gifts in fertile ground, nourished by the wisdom of my teachers.  I feel a ripening.  Perhaps now is the time for harvest, time to share the fruit.

With David and Shelley, super-teaching team.


5 comments:

  1. Sooo beautiful!!! And damn, you were an exquisite looking child! When and where do you start teaching?

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    1. Aww, gee. Thanks, Dottie. :)

      Teaching at Yoga Yoga. Picking up lots of classes all over town, plenty of Ashtanga. You can find out when I'm teaching by clicking the "Schedule" tab up top.

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  2. Lovely post! I find myself feeling very grateful these days, and come to think of it, it has coincided with becoming a yoga instructor.

    Best of luck to you in your new teaching endeavor; your passion for your personal practice must make you an inspiring teacher. I'll take a class if I'm ever in Texas!

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  3. Lovely revelation. One can never have too many moments of gratitude. And agreed, you were such an exquisite looking child!! (That picture really touched the mom-in-me) Sweetness. Mothers are indeed our first teachers, and as an older sister, looks like you were a young teacher as well!

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