I don’t actually attend many yoga classes these days. I do have a few passes to the Iyengar Yoga Center which I am trying to use up but it is taking me a while. Every trip to a studio means a babysitter has to be called. Or at least a generous husband who is willing to move his work schedule around so I can go take a class. The spare time we have in our lives pretty much always involves a high maintenance toddler. Usually I practice at home when she is napping. It is really the only time I can find.
I have been subbing classes fairly regularly for a local teacher and they invited me to attend one of their classes to experience their teaching style. I didn’t think I would be able to go but then a mix up with my husband’s boss and some missing keys meant he couldn’t work until later in the day. I went to the yoga class.
It was sort of weird being in the class. There were students I normally teach present. At first I think a few were confused as to whether I was guiding the class or not. But really the most interesting thing I noticed in the class was how hard it was to take my own advice, listen to my own needs, and NOT PUSH MY BODY too far. I went deep into postures. Some of which are comfortable for me, some not so much. Why? I don’t really know. Did I want the teacher to think I was more advanced than I am because I sub their classes sometimes? Did I want to go far because students I teach were in the room and I felt I should “look good”? Was it just because I felt the need to push to see how far I would go? This is against everything I teach… yet here I was doing the silly things I always remind my students not to do. I tried too hard. I cared too much about how it looked. It was a grand case of “Physician heal thyself“. Next time I attend a yoga class I am going to listen to my own advice. Enjoy the journey… a yoga practice isn’t just the poses… Allow yourself to open naturally and slowly rather than letting the ego push you into postures.
One again I find myself returning to lessons from Vanda Scaravelli.
Beauty is the absence of a definite determined action, the freedom from slavery to an already formed ideal that drives us in a particular direction eliminates all other possibilities to wander among the many adventurous, and sometimes dangerous, roads. Beauty gives also the pleasure to uncover and the luxury to lose.”–Vanda Scaravelli