THAT LACKING FEELING

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I haven't said much lately, as i haven't had much to say. 

I haven't been teaching much lately, except the odd one hour class here and there. 

And now, suddenly, it's exploded: I teach three hour classes every day in a retreat centre and this morning I taught a private class in a luxury villa, by the pool, with stunning sea views… to three A-type New Yorkers!

Oh My God. 

I arrived, cheerful and relaxed. The woman was in her gorgeous yoga leggings with cool unicorns and in this tiny sports bra with beautiful lace straps in the back. The men were just normal. 

Her boyfriend had told me, when I told him that I'm a yoga teacher, that his girlfriend is a "massive yogi" and I took it with a grain of salt, like I've learnt to take everything Americans say, as they seem to say so much and such grandiose words about just about anything, Yes I'm generalising massively. 

So we started and I asked them about their practice. And the woman told me she is "quite advanced" and I started to realise what advanced in New York can potentially mean. The guys told me they were intermediate. 

I started with my usual rants about the breath and so on and they were pushing ahead of me with a very loud ujjay breath. Then suddenly they voice a complaint: they couldn't hear me as the pool was being noisy. OK. So we moved to another place. And we continued. 

On and into the sun salutations, and I blah blahed my usual "on this first round you can just step into plank pose and then you can on this first round just step forward, we will jump later…" but then I realise, with a knot in my stomach, that this little powerful woman is now FLYING THROUGH THE AIR and like STAYING UP THERE before landing, soft as a bird, between her petite feet. 

I was stunned. I've seen these things on videos and instagram and I guess in reality, but not for a long time. I haven't been around advanced big city Type-A people who practice Vinyasa Flow and Ashtanga. I live on a small island where people talk a lot and do very little. 

Gulp. 

I have never in my 12 year yoga practice even been close to flying up into the air like that. 

And now I'm supposed to be teaching her something?

I was truly amazed by her practice. It looked beautiful, stunning, light, impressive and it was very inspiring. It made me want to be in her skin. So light, and so strong. Wow!

I tried to continue the class, with a more advanced vinyasa, trying to give her a challenge. The guys were slightly challenged, and she just kept flying. When I suggested headstand or shoulder stand practice, I told her to do whatever she felt like, and she did some crazy splits in handstands and some lotus and some transitions and some more wowy things. 

We talked during the practice and I asked her about the yoga practice in New York. She told me the community is very supportive, and not at all competitive. She told me she goes to the park with her yogi friends and they all take crazy pictures of each other in crazy advanced inversions and they post them on Instagram. 

I left with a feeling of having been intimidated by this little powerful body. Mine is incapable of these things, and I'm supposed to be "teaching"??

All day I was left with a feeling of "do I actually have anything to teach? Do I really know what I'm doing?"

I then had to teach another three hour class to a much less advanced level group of 11 people who are on holiday here on this hot sunny island and who mostly came for the fun, with the official excuse of doing yoga. They were sweating like crazy after the second Sun Salutation B and some of them looked ready to kill me. Or to jump off the edge of the yoga deck, located high up and with gorgeous views. 

I lost my motivation after one hour of teaching, and I just couldn't find it inside of me to have to also motivate them. I sort of trailed off into space and couldn't find inspiration. I kept thinking about my questions to myself. What am I doing? Do I know what I'm doing?

And all the negative things about myself I could think about, came popping up. There are so many things I'm lacking. There's a lot that I'm good at, but right now I seem stuck in what I'm lacking. 

For the last part of the class, the relaxation and meditation, more than half the class left. They came up to me and asked to be excused, because they had to get ready for the evening, or were hungover, or something else. 

I understood them. I myself wouldn't wanna be in my uninspiring, unmotivating class today. 

 

Comments

Chin up girl! Don't let yourself be intimidated by someone else's practice. It's theirs and sometimes the ones with the "party tricks" are not the ones who have the depth that a truly balanced practice should include. Believe in your spirit and in what IT has to offer a student. Thanks for posting. We all can feel inadequate now and then. We need to offer the gifts we have and not worry so much about what we think we lack.

Hi Linda,
More and more i realize that everybody around me is a mirror and a teacher and we are for them wether they acknowledge it or not. No matter how advanced a practitioner, a yogi is human and incarnated because he or she is not enlightened yet. Three hour classes are long and unnatural in a way. Especially for beginners. In your case i'd fall back on philosophy, your knowledge is so broad or one of your lovely, deliciously long 'yoga nidra's'. You have the ability to touch hearths with words. Kisses!

So timely for me… I'm a new teacher & had a student the other day with a practice more advanced than mine. Same worries, same struggles. Hope you were able to focus on what you do have. I'm trying to do the same. Thanks for the post!

Hi Linda
Ive been teaching all kinds of levels for.a.few.years now and.understand.the.peaks.and teoughs of motivation to teach. Iv also encountered the students more physically advanced .in their practice . than I and felt that intimidation. But herein lies our lesson.

You know, I know, we all know that the.practice of yoga is with the ultimate.aim of stilling the mind as well.as nourishing the body.

My type-A ashtanga teacher told me that sri pattabi jois himself had a talk.with her about this. Years ago, during practice with him, she said "Guruji, im ready for the secondary series and ask your permission to be instructed'. He.replied 'why?'. Her responsed all related to the physical. ...my body is ready. ... im flexible enough. He said "To accomplish the primary series is all.one needs. The rest is just acrobatics".

Om.peace to.you
Rebecca
Fb:\reneccas.yoga

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