Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back to Class. More to Learn.

Not quite back to school, but with something of the same sense of anticipation; a fresh start, new beginning and renewal,  meeting again with people I haven’t seen for a while, meeting new people.

It’s back to the mat as another session of yoga begins. Just like school yoga classes have a structure – quiet centring, focus on breathing stretching, poses for strength, balance and flexibility, flows, and the lovely relaxing of Savasana followed by calming, mindful meditation.

 Our classes last just 90 minutes, so ‘yoga‘school’ is short, but that time is still very powerful and restoring for all of us on our mats.

Some of us wear Yoga T’s, other loose tunics, but never ‘uniform’. Unlike school, the only ‘time out’ is Savasana. There is no ‘misbehaviour’ in yoga class.  Yoga is about doing what you can do today, not competing or keeping up with. In some cases not even doing the same pose as other students.

As a teacher, every time I walk into my Yoga Space to prepare, light the candles, place Ganesh, then sit quietly on my mat, it provides a new learning experience. Any time coming together to share with other students I learn as much as they do, perhaps more. Every class is an opportunity to develop as a teacher, to understand the needs and abilities of each individual body.

New students bring a fresh openness, returning students bring their previous experiences, joy in the practice, eager to deepen the practice.  Pregnant students, new mothers with young babies, my Warrior Women, fighting and surviving breast cancer, they all trust me and require special care. I’m waiting to see my newest yoga baby whose mother shared with us during her to pregnancies.

During our break students have done yoga in the mountains, on the beach to the rhythm of the ocean, at home in a spare room, perhaps out on the grass.

 They will all bring something new to me. I will hopefully find some new postures and philosophies to inspire them.

To inspire me I sometimes need to be a student. Next weekend I will again be a student of Fr. Joe when he comes to Chester, N.S. to offer his annual Iyengar workshop-retreat. It’s an energizing, restorative time that never fails to sustain me. 

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