Addressing the curvature of our spine this week … that spine that includes the often forgotten … NECK, the cervical spine:)
You can’t be all things to all people… Trust yourself first.
– Judith Hanson Lasater
We all know we can’t please everyone and foolish of us to even try. If you go to my favorite Iyengar teacher’s class, he speaks non-stop throughout the class about every minute details of your body parts and that … is so helpful in retaining that “attention” and focus. Some people need that. He is so full of words, some people call it OCD and other call it mindful attention to all details. When I auditioned I felt the need to fill the void with every little explanation and minute details of asana benefits, breath awareness, etc. basically to showcase how much I know. It was not really about the students and their needs but about the teacher and her needs to prove herself as the “knower” – it can be quite annoying for the students if the teacher habitually do this. Depending on the TPO, depending on the intention of the class it’s best to … just hold a quiet space – no preaching, no lecturing, no explaining … not even teaching. Sometimes, it’s the quiet, the silence … just holding space is enough. Students showed up because they already know. There’s no need to prove anything to keep driving the point. The point is … tune in to trust yourself.
Teachers should create a safe space
in the class, keep the focus on the breath and the flow
of the asanas. It is best to refrain from excessive talking,
explaining or preaching during the class—the job of the
Yoga teacher is to help people to feel safe in every aspect of
– Bessel van der Kolk, MD
Need not start reciting the Yoga Sutras or anything – but suggestion to weave in the psycho-spiritual-mysticism – just a suggestion by Saraswathi Devi …yoga teacher veteran of 40 some years … to weave in that… magic is quite challenging in some setting to say the least. Yes, I spent the whole weekend in Berkeley … doesn’t it show?
There was a period in my life (highly stressed) I was really hooked on Bikram yoga – and had the luxury of time to devote into the practice. All the sweating and the sense of accomplishment felt just so good. You do get hooked.
Life got a bit complicated.
(& gained 20+ lbs – no kidding – no worries, got down 10lb being a Ms. YoYo:)
So it was so rewarding to take Christine’s yin class held at – a bit surprised – at a Bikram based hot yoga studio!? It’s so refreshing that it’s actually an “yin” class but still you are breaking a sweat – not the intense Yang class you pass out from over-exertion (& that’s what many of us wanted to quiet the mind – it feels so good) during savasana at the end but just light and clear, as much in a different way. It’s about balance – when there’s so much yang; we need the yin or we burnout or or breakdown. There’s harmony and a flow when there’s balance. She asked me to test drive the heat and if I can stand it (no problem!) sub for her and I am thrilled to. In this studio, there are no props usually needed for a yin style class BUT the heat serves as that prop. As long as there’s ample fresh air for the oxygenated breath we take, then, I still love hot yoga even though I realize that many yogis scorn it. Whatever works, I’d say, to that prejudice. Whatever works in getting that peace within.
Memory of hot yoga class in Tokyo came back where cool towels and bottled water are provided to each student – it’s about hosting a guest and guests are sacred beings in Eastern philosophy. You invite them into your homes, your heart. Thank you Christine for inviting me. You are a pure light and breath of that fresh air. Namaste.
Here’s a scene from …yet another kind of class – use of props 101? Love all:) Haahhhh just chilling by hanging from the hip hinge.
Counter-Indications? High Blood pressure. You can still do them but some techniques to share in tweaking the pose so it’s accessible to everyone.