Friday, January 29, 2010

What students tell you and ask you

I have been asked a lot of questions about a lot of creaks and groans in the past 4 weeks. I know how the doctor must feel hearing "I've got this little pain right in here, doc."

In some cases I could offer some insights - but I have also learned to say
1. "I'm not sure about that."
2. "If there is any pain, don't do it."
3. "Just back off a bit - don't try to go deep."

I have resisted the Pattahbi Jois, "practice and all is coming."

I emphasize at the beginning of class that there is a pose for everyone - but that we have to have to practice accepting the constraints of our bodies and notice how they change. I emphasize during practice that 'deep' for some people is not for others. I also ask the students to notice the changes in the way their bodies feel from beginning and through the practice. I think the classes are getting that message.

I'm glad that students have begun to request things and poses. Today a student (who is reading this blog!) said that he missed me suggesting that they dedicate their practice to someone else. I am glad he mentioned that - because it is one of my favorite things too. I will make sure to include that suggestion.

In the book "How Yoga Works," Saturday, the yoga teacher, the prisoner, the woman, tells us that "we cannot practice Yoga for ourselves, it is not enough. We must practice yoga for other people." Saturday always reminds her student to focus on what the yoga can do for others, and this is where we also learn the Tonglen meditation.


1 comment:

  1. That must be the hardest thing for everyone, me included, to know when to "back off." I'm so proud of students who learn to recognize their own version of the pose (I hate to use the term "limits") and stop looking at everyone else. It's such an achievement, yoga-wise.