I worked with the theme of being anchored steadily in our own light so that we can joyfully expand and rise up. Basic root-to rise class to drop backs. (root with steadiness, rise with joy. like that.) It was really fun.
Surya A- 5X
1 minute timings with vinyasa between:
press handstands with partners
ninja warrior quad stretches at the wall- 2X
eka pada rajakapotasana forward bended and upright with back leg on wall
shalabasana and cobra work
corba with chest to the wall
standing back arch with pelvis at wall and partner assist at tailbone
drop backs with partners
drop backs with wall
drop backs alone
supta padangusthasana 1, and to the side
knees to chest
We had a great time at practice. Another fun thing last night was that I got to tell everyone that G'Nell Smith's application went into the Anusara Yoga office approving her for Ansuara-Inspired Status, which is a really cool thing. I know I have talked about this a lot on this blog and in the trainings I teach but the thing that is really impressing me the most these days is just how interdependent we are as a community of students and teachers. It strikes me every time an Anusara Yoga teacher reaches a new milestone in their journey like getting approved for Inspired Status or completing the Certification Process that it was a group effort.
Let's face it, no teacher anywhere gets good alone. None of us great-teachers-to-be are sitting at home practicing alone and refining our skills until "we are ready" to be launched on the world, perfectly able to teach inspiring and effective yoga classes to everybody we meet. Nope, that's not how it happens at all. Every teacher learns on their students. Someone once told me that Mr. Iyengar said most teachers should actually pay their students for the first five years that they are teaching. At any rate, every student who pays their hard-earned money to go to yoga classes and who shows up week after week and year after year is helping their teacher to grow into the best teacher they can be. And every teacher who is spending their time, money and attention to go to trainings, classes and to study everything they can find on yoga is investing themselves fully in order to be better able to serve the students who are supporting them. And when it works well, when it is at its best, there is an incredible reciprocity of time, attention, resources and we are held in each others Grace. Every conflict we face together, every triumph we share, and every season of growth we walk through together is forging in each of us a pathway to the truth that lives at the heart of our longing to align with what matters most in life. Certainly, no one can do the work for us, but truly we can not do it alone either. This yoga is a team effort.
We worked with that theme last night in class also. Its really one of my favorites. How can each one of us be so steadily rooted in our own light that we can joyfully share and receive the abundant light of those around us? Truth be told, it may not come naturally. It may be that at first, we see someone shining brightly and we feel threatened, diminished, invisible or jealous. We may have to do a lot of inner work to recognize and validate our own light before we are steady in it. But the teachings tell us that as we cultivate that steadiness, as we cultivate true joy in other's success our own consciousness shifts. (Patanjali 1.33) No where does it say we have to do it perfectly. The sutra says cultivate joy in other's good fortune or mudita.
Gioconda and I were talking about it a few days ago and she brought up the idea that cultivating virtues of the Heart is a lot like growing a garden. You do not water the plants only once and expect them to thrive. Water the garden only once and you should expect the plants to wither and die, in fact. Instead, we have to water continually and even give extra nutrition when the soil is depleted. We have to treat for bug infestations, clip back parts that are running wild, weed around it, shade the plants from the sun but not give them too much shade. When a freeze is headed its way, we need to take precautions. And so on.
Okay, so the plant metaphor has now been thoroughly worked, right? Well, cultivating our inner life is the same way. So often we make efforts but fail to cultivate the qualities over the time. Its as though we get jealous of someone else, try to think a happy thought, still feel jealous and then give up! Just like watering once. No- we have to keep the faith. We have to keep going and invest in the garden of the heart over the long haul. And when we do this, truly beautiful things grow.
I am seeing that so much right now in our community in Austin. The growth we have all been investing in is blooming and bearing fruit and the joy I feel watching it quite delightful. And I see more amazing things in the works- great seeds are sprouting and growing roots and a new cycle of growth is underway. I love it. It is a very inspiring time right now.
So tend your garden and keep the faith.