Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's Getting Hot in Here

I have this idea that it doesn't matter who the teacher is, if you put yoga in front of people, it'll teach itself. I still think that's true. Just create the space and set the context and let them go to it, and off they go. And of course, the teacher will have something to do with it, but probably very little, at least the way I've been taught.

This yoga teacher training groups looks a lot like how people looked living at the ashram where we did yoga everyday. I think that's a good thing. We've created a space where the heat is on and the purification can happen. I was saying to a regular student of my drop in classes the other day that the way the yoga teacher training is taught is a lot more traditional and more like how people just practised yoga, without plans to be a yoga teacher. The YTT does what "plain yoga" was supposed to do but at the end of it you get a certificate.

All of the past YTTs I've been involved with were like this as well, but this one more so I think because it's many days in a row and the pressure has built up without the usual distractions of life. It's like trying to bake something in the oven and turning it on and leaving it on, rather than turning it on for a minute and then turning it off for a day and then on again.

Some people in the course are hitting a wall. Possibly going through stuff they haven't gone through before. Some people are having memories of things that were buried. Others are tired. Plus, it is hot in the room in this August weather even with the tiny a/c going and the fans on. There's a strong sense of community there and people are well aware that the community is breaking up in a few days, when all sutras will have been presented, all final exams submitted, all practice teaches done, all topics covered.

Yoga works on your life, not just on your posture. So it's no wonder that yoga teachers get asked everything from what to do about tightness in a hamstring to how to deal with a partner at home who doesn't "get it." How to deal with family members not spoken to, to what to eat before class. How to deal with co-workers who gossip as well as what to do once it's clear the job you're doing isn't a fit anymore. The answer's always the same, so it doesn't matter that the questions go wide, which is bring awareness to it. Of course there's more, but basically that's the deal. Bring awareness to the situation. Do what increases your energy, do what takes you in the direction you said you want to go.

In the meantime, as the energy hits the obstacles, things sometimes melt down. As old patterns have awareness on them they start to shrivel and whither or sometimes they get strong and want to take over to survive. It's so curious, and predictable by now...

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