So the weekend with Manorama was pretty much a highlight for the year. She was fantastic on so many levels and I think I will be musing about the many many many nuggets of wisdom she shared as the next month goes on. (She calls them "pearls" or even "spiritual bullets", depending.) Anyway- too much to download all at once but perfect things to chew on over time.
I love teaching but not as much as love learning from an excellent teacher so I was very happy all weekend to sit and be a student. I love how there are so many levels to teachings. There is the exoteric level- the level of what is being said. There is the esoteric level- those teaching within the outer form and that exist a bit in between the lines. I am not talking here about adding words and unconscious projections to what a teacher is saying and calling that esoteric! I am talking about the many levels of teaching that exist in just watching someone present information to a group and the many ways who we are, as we teach, is communicated. I find that fascinating.
So I enjoyed Manorama's teaching style immensely. She has a very wide range and ability and she provided plenty for the intellect and the Heart and the emotions to work with. I particularly found a lot of meaning in the fact that she is clearly upholding a tradition. This is not Manorama's yoga. She is teaching yoga as she learned it from her Guru (Sri Brahmananda Saravati) and she is doing so with a fair amount of explanation but without one shred of apology. She did not morph the teachings to make them easier, more palatable, or more popular. She did not set it to fancy music (although she is a fantastic singer but I mean metaphorically in this case) or dress it up in a costume or combine it with wine and chocolate (yes, I could not resist a small jab there). Nor she did not reduce everything down to simple psychological feel good statements or ideas. She delivered the hard truth- the yogi's path is radical- with passion, understanding, love and clarity. It does not get much better than that in my book.
The yoga path, while it will generally help us to function better in the world, is not designed to match up to conventional standards and may or may not conform to such ideals. The yogi's path says- without apology- you must do something different and approach life differently than what is common and normal. You must go inward, you must "get off" the outside triggers and distractions and find your Self inside. Blame has no place on this path. Being "right" will not serve one's awakening. There is no "getting away with." There is only the pursuit and practice of stark, loving clarity. Fantastic. Love. It.
Okay- well, more on all that as the week progresses. We ended the weekend with a 3-hour practice which was super fun. I hardly got any pictures but if anyone in the group sends me some I will post them. I was either practicing or helping others and so I was lax on any photographic contribution. But it was super fun to just move, sweat and play and bring the teachings into our bodies after a weekend of lots of sitting.