Approach both your life and your postures with an eye to the process, and let go of the results. Stand easy in all the postures of your life, firm but relaxed. (Rolf Gates, Meditations from the Mat)
This past weekend we reached weekend four of Yoga Teacher Training. The focus of the weekend was on Asana, or poses, and breaking them down to learn how to cue students into and out of a pose. The emphasis for the weekend was on how to be clear, concise and consistent when providing instruction. We also discussed how to be effective – to cue from the ground or foundation up. What touches the earth? What is the foundation of the pose? The weekend included breaking down 40+ poses.
The weekend was far more than just breaking down poses, cue by cue, however. Over the time that I have written this blog I have written about community several times. This weekend really clarified the community that we have formed as a group of yoga teachers in training. There was more laughter than I think we have experienced so far. This is a very special group of women, each with her own story and reason for being in training, each with her own gift for what she will offer the yoga community and the larger community of her own life. I feel honored to be part of this journey with them.
We had an opportunity to teach one another this weekend. It was fun and challenging. We support one another as we learn how to lead one another and our future students. Learning to teach is a process and each one of us needs to trust where we are on the road. The quote that begins this post was in my personal readings this weekend. It captures what we discussed and learned. We must let go of what we anticipate will happen because there is always the unexpected and often the unexpected is far better than what we can imagine. I read standing “firm but relaxed” as knowing what I need to do, studying and understanding the postures as well as the applications, and seeing where it leads.
On Sunday morning Shannon Andrews Skipper came as the guest teacher. It was a wonderful and creative morning of celebration. Shannon incorporates dance, play and music in her classes. She gave us the opportunity to explore an energetic and joyful practice through chanting, dancing and flowing. The practice encouraged me to pull out my bag of musical instruments that I used when I was teaching and telling stories. I think I will find a way to incorporate music into my practice and teaching.
Each weekend is more amazing than the previous weekend. In the next few weeks the focus is on cultivating my home practice and reflecting on what that means for my practice and teaching. I am looking forward to seeing what comes up and how I continue in this process.