May 24, 2010

Breaking Silence

I spent the weekend supporting the 2010 teacher trainees. It was their 5th weekend of training, and this was "silent weekend". They were asked to keep to functional silence all weekend - no chatting, no socializing between sessions. And to extend that to their friends and families, as well as to communications tools - phone, internet, facebook, radio, tv, etc. Quite the challenge for most of us in this culture, myself included.

While I was not within the cone of silence (I'm on staff) I did respect that as much as possible, and kept my radio off in the car and at home, stayed off the internets for the most part, and avoided TV. So this morning, I'm continuing to enjoy the silence; keeping public radio off for a while as I ease into my day.

Assisting at teacher training is an incredible honor and opportunity - I entered teacher training myself 2 years ago because my enthusiasm for and joy surrounding yoga was spilling out of me; and this is just one more chance to share the love. These folks are working so hard and it is so amazing to watch their growth as yogis and as people in the pressure cooker of a teacher training program. I am in awe, most of the weekend.

While I was on duty most of the weekend, including assisting at the practices, I was able to unroll my mat on Sunday morning and practice with the class. The teacher training practices are incredibly challenging; yoga boot camp. And we started with a yin practice that took me down into grief and tears pretty quickly. So a good time on the mat....

The teacher training weekend is long - 5 hours Friday, 9 hours Saturday, and 9 hours Sunday. I also worked at the studio Saturday morning. So not a lot of unwinding and chilling going on this weekend. I missed out on a Falcon Ridge weekend - crew chiefs meeting as well as a concert with the most wanted song swap artists, and the chance to catch up with friends - but what can you do?

I'm back at it this morning, although consciously taking it easy. I have a few small projects to take care of, and an intro to yoga class to teach this evening in Meriden. But I'm hoping that today is a chance to reintegrate and catch up.

The teacher trainees were left with homework, as usual, and this month, one of their tasks was to come up with an "Unreasonable" - something that would challenge them, break old patterns, move them into a place of discomfort or out of habit. As this was being assigned, I thought back to my teacher training. I had no remembrance what my "unreasonable" was (although upon reflection, it involved getting body work; I had up until then never had a massage). But I think back on the past two years - I ended a relationship, purchased a home, began teaching yoga, started playing music in a band. On the whole, my entire life borders on the unreasonable, these days. Pretty great, all in all!

So kudos to my teachers, for the practice that has changed my life. For the teacher training that has helped me to grow. And for the community that continues to challenge me, to nurture me, and is my family.

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