April 14, 2008

Teacher Training Wrap-up

I'm reconnecting after a few days of teacher training mandated silence. It was an interesting weekend on a lot of levels; so I'm gonna hit the highlights, and maybe some other things will fall out afterwards.

First off, it was a weekend of silence. Was not sure how that would pan out; I've done silent retreats before, but never on my home turf. On Friday night, one of my fellow trainees spoke of how her devotion to a Friday morning yoga practice had gotten in the way of her connecting with a friend / neighbor who really needed her - that moved my heart deeply. I decided that being in silence with Zippy would have been a bad thing; yoga and my spiritual path is already a huge issue between us and I felt as if keeping silent with Zippy would violate the yama Ahimsa (non-injury) more than foster Tapas (spiritual discipline). So I avoided the phone, the internet, email, blogs, television, and radio - and kept conversations to a minimum, but I remained in contact with Zippy. I think that was a good decision.

Because I was not on the internet; I had time on my hands. I spent some time detoxing - cleaning my room, doing laundry, doing dishes, cleaning my car. I took some time to give myself a pedicure. It just felt good to be cleaning up my life a little, making a little more room for order and beauty.

On Saturday evening, we hosted an Intro to WHY Power class at the studio, led by teacher trainees. I was part of the 2nd group (so I do not get to teach until May) but I got to site and observe on Saturday. I can not tell you how deeply my heart was movedby the experience. First, the studio was filled with 30-35 people (a good size class under any circumstances). Some familiar faces, some new to the studio, some new to yoga. I felt so supported and loved (as a member of the teacher training class) by the community. And then, to see my fellow trainees teach their segments - it was beautiful. Each person, filled with fear and with hope, bringing their own personality and style to the class. I was rooting for each and every one of them.

When trainees were not teaching, they moved through the class, helping students, doing adjustments. It felt like a swarm of bees in some ways to see so many assistants, and I was afraid that the students would get overwhelmed. I know I like an assist but I also like to be left alone in my practice at times. But my fellow trainees were so gentle, so loving, so pure in their attentions - it was delightful to watch individual attentions.

I will most assuredly let you know when the May workshop is - while I tend to be a bit of a rugged individualist, Saturday's class was so moving and delightful that having a friend or two in the room when it is my turn to teach would be sweet.

There was sadness as well. This was weekend #3 out of #6 weekends, counting the anatomy workshop. The formal part of my yoga teacher training is 1/2 over, and as much as I am looking forward to teaching, to exploring my own space as a teacher, I am keenly aware of how precious this space is. On Sunday evening, we were doing an empathy / seeing skills exercise - one of us got into a posture to be seen, another would come into silence and "read" the other student. Most of us got into pretty safe poses (we had to be in them a long time while the other person read us), but when it came to my turn (I was the one being read) I stepped into Prasarita Padottanasana (wide-legged forward bend). Afterwards, I sat down and a fellow trainee scribbled the word BOLD! on a piece of paper and passed it to me. I dunno, it felt right. I wanted something strong, yet something I could hold for a long time, I wanted something vulnerable (ass in the air is pretty vulnerable), and I feel so safe and supported in that space.

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