There is such an interesting thing happening in my schedule right now. In October I resigned from Anusara Yoga but the majority of my teaching work is teacher trainings right now- all of which began as Anusara programs but are continuing under the School of Yoga banner, which has been very exciting. I think it would be one thing to have resigned and be sorting out what this un-planned-for-transition meant for me as an asana teacher and the whole resulting set of challenges- use a theme or not? Use the UPA language or not? how much to talk about all the things I learned from John? How much to include teaching stories from my time with him? etc. But teacher training straight off the bat really takes it up a notch beyond all that. It has required such a clarity from me right away and some serious soul searching about skills and attitudes I really think are important for teachers to have and how best to create experiential training exercises to teach those skills. I have had to get off my routine of how I train people to meet the demands of the Anusara labyrinth and dive into the freshness of the immediate circumstance with each group and respond as authentically and skillfully as possible. Its been quite an amazing process for me and I feel like I have grown by leaps and bounds every day.
And that is just in the technical domain of offering these trainings. Personally, its a whole other thing to see my students stand for their practice, their relationship to yoga and to me, in a new way. I have talked about it a bit before but as a trainer in a system that is popular and "in demand" as product in the marketplace it was really hard to know if people wanted to study with me, or wanted Anusara hours or some combination of both. I recognize that Anusara is a marketable item and therefore Teacher Trainings in the method that"count" towards certification are sellable and in demand. And I think that is totally fine and I have no problem with that. All of that makes perfect sense to me as I was once an aspiring certification candidate who was counting hours and fulfilling requirements and so on. So I get it. And having said that, it has been the most amazing, heart-warming, affirming and humbling experience to look out into a room and see that people want to train with me and not just train in the Anusara method.
In fact, it has been such a powerful experience that I am going to say it right out loud: I wasn't sure that would be the case. I honestly did not know, in my heart of hearts, that people really wanted to learn from me, Christina Sell, and not just get Anusara training and hours that "counted" toward their career goals. (And again, it's not that I blame anyone for having career goals, because I don't. I have plenty of my own. I am talking about me here, not the students in or out of the room.) Being me, Christina Sell, and looking out into a room of people who are stepping away from the safety of conventional boundaries and certification standards and going into unknown territory with me AND trusting me to teach them and guide them has been the Number One most empowering, frightening, humbling, thrilling, demanding, affirming, lovely and enlightening experience of my life to date. Honestly, words don't describe it. And I have been trying. But one thing is for sure, the profundity of the situation is not lost on me.
We spent a lot of time on the basics this weekend and I implemented teaching techniques I have never tried before and I found the results overwhelmingly positive. The power of the basics and the potency of simplicity is staggering, really. The more I train teachers the more I realize how much we need to just back the whole thing out to the majestic challenge it is to get people into and out of well-aligned postures. And that one simple-sounding task is full of such rich terrain in terms of the skills, perspectives and insights it offers. The theme for the weekend was "Foundations" and that is what we focused on. We laid A LOT of groundwork that we can work with in the Level 2 training. I kept thinking of this weekend's work like creating a scaffolding that we can hang embellishments on later. Once we have getting into and out of postures with an clarity and an economy of words mastered, its a lot easier to fill in key actions, themes, and various other creative strategies.
All right, thats it for tonight. More soon.