I woke up early this morning and got to work on a big long list of things that have been slowing piling up. I am trying t handle them so as to clear up a little of my bandwidth, so to speak, before the next stint of travel resumes along with some new projects.
All right- well, yesterday, like most Wednesdays was a busy day. I taught Focu on Form at 9:30. Right as we were getting ready to start I loked at Mandy and said, "Wow, the powerful women are here in frce today...Mandy, Jen W,. Brigitte, Jess G, Anne, Liz Shri, Deja, Tabitha, Sarah, Denise, Alexis, Alice, Faith and the list just goes on. In addition to the amazing assembly of women we had Paolo, Alex, Steve and Kelly holding the bass line which is always great.
As it is standing pose week we worked with the classic form parsvottanasana as the peak pose and it went very well. That pose, in its classic form just has so much involved that it was fun to break it down to component parts rather than "just doing" it. (remember there is no "just"!)
After that, I met with Jess G to review some feedback abut her class. Jess is not only a great teacher but she is an excellent mentee. She asked smart questions, she took feedback without flinching, she thoughtfully discussed her strengths, weaknesses and goals and was able to straddle the practical and the theoretical domains of improving one's teaching, preparing a video and diving into the certification process in a formal and focused way. It was really a pleasure to sit down and "talk shop" with her. The same passion and care she has for her students she has for her own studentship and that is quite admirable. It really is. She has so much to offer.
After that, Kelly and I went for a walk and then had lunch and then filmed Lesson #6 for the Online Mentor Group- Refining Articulation Skills. After that, I prepped for the Local mentor group, did a 90 minute practice and headed out to teach at Castle Hill.
I have been on a thing all week about compassion and about avoiding the Downward Spiral. And it really began to dawn on me that the Downward Spiral is a manifestation of the malas- the covering and film on the mirror of the heart. The malas have three primary voices-"You are unworthy", "You are separate" and "You are unable". And really those are the primary voices of the Downward Spiral when it hits.
There you are, in yoga class, ready for some words of inspiration and you look next to you and the person next to you is super able and the Downward Spiral decides to get involved in your practice by saying "You are not capable, you are not able. You suck. You, in fact, are so stiff that you are not even worthy of being here. You are stiffer than everyone and no one even wants you here..." And so the descent into the abyss of neurotic hell has begun. Just like that.
One of the teachings that John gives us is that sadhana is not just about awareness of "What is going on with us" but also involves asserting the Highest in the midst of the current crisis, conflict, or turmoil we are facing. His teaching is that it is not just enough to acknowledge "What is" we must also assert our deeper intention, our higher context, the more profound truth. He gave me this lesson a few years ago in Costa Rica when I was sharing abut how important the contemplative practices are to understanding what is going on with us.
He very clearly said to me that yes, that is true AND you have to take it the next step, and teach people to take the next step, which is to assert the higher perspective. When the downward spiritual says "You are unworthy" we have to assert our Intrinsic Worth. When we feel unable we must recognize that we are Intrinsically Able. Maybe we are not able to do everything the person next to us can do but we can choose to focus on what we can do rather than what we cannot do and everyone in yoga can do something. And when we feel separate and alone we can look into some one's eyes, consciously connect, reach out and confront the untruth of being apart from. We can connect to that place within us that is not isolated but is Intrinsically Connected.
So I talked about that in class while we worked toward vira 3, and eka pada koundinyasana 2. What was so cool is that by the time we got to the peak pose of vira 3 we only had to do it once it was so on the money. All the lessons in component parts and relevant actions paved the way for a fairly pristine rendition of the pose. LOVE IT.
So after that we had the mentor group and covered a fair amount of ground in a very easeful way and then I came home, answered some email and went to bed pretty darn tired. I have some other things I want to share about but enough for now. Must continue to work on the stack of things I have building up.
Have a good day.
Also, if you are tuning in just now- let me know if you want your blog listed on my blog roll as I am revising it and wiped it clean the other day and I am adding those people back who want to be included.
And also Novemebr 29 3:00-5:30 is a Group Practice at The Love Shack.