Posted by: chibotaichi | December 5, 2012

Student is the Teacher; Namaste.

This evening I rolled down to Burnsville to teach a yoga class, and was glad to see a familiar face waiting outside the room. It looked that it would just be us two, which was kind of exciting because it seemed like a good opportunity to explore and experiment more, but then sure enough people started filtering in after a while.

Three younger girls came rambling in, making noise sufficient for their age and “culture.” Surprisingly, however, when they rolled their mats out they came right up to the front, which has been historically quite rare for Burnsville evening-yogis.

So that was a little peculiar…hardly insane, but a pleasant change of pace, to be sure.

Adding to the phenomenon of uncommon, but utterly welcome, was the fact that the yogi in the middle quite frequently opted to skip chathuranga, as well as making frequent stops in balasana. I emphasis this like a broken record: It is OKAY to take rest, to skip a chathuranga from time to time, to accept where your body is in the given moment. I think this girl was fairly new to yoga, but I was glad to see that her practice (or at least her sense of embodiment) is advanced enough to acknowledge when rest is appropriate, or more work is unnecessary.

As we made our way to the end of the practice, we had a few minutes to spare, so , as I like to do when the opportunity presents itself, I suggested that everybody take any asana that strikes their fancy…I make mention of various inversions and arm-balances and the like, or any pose that has or hasn’t been part of the practice that day.

This was the strangely inspiring moment. The girl to my right started immediately setting up for bakasana at the mere mention of crow-pose, but didn’t spring up into the full pose as I would have anticipated, given the gusto with which she approached the prepping.

After the class we chatted briefly and she told me that as of yet she had not quite been able to find the arm-balancing expression of the pose. We discussed a few things to work on to build towards a fuller expression, and you could see optimism and patient determination in her demeanor.

I had something of a flashback at that moment… the zeal with which she approached merely the preparatory positions of bakasana was really profound. I remember, somehow only vaguely, not being able to achieve lift-off in any arm-balancing poses…and the first time I finally got both feet up, I was astonished. It literally blew my mind. And that’s when the worm-can was popped wide open.

There is so much magic in the early stages of any practice. The most obvious gains often appear right at the start. It was a humbling and inspiring reminder to see someone cheerfully striving toward a posture which had become taken for granted in my own practice.

A truly blessed Namaste moment!


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