Monday, October 4, 2010

TT Weekend #1: Jump in the Fire

I'm particularly tired this morning, as I begin to navigate my way out of the perfect storm my life has been the last couple of weeks.  Yoga has been intense, work has been intense, school has been intense, and then there's me, in the middle of it all, juggling the plates that I put into motion, not sleeping for thinking about keeping it all in the air, awake for as long as is required to keep it all going.

But now the paper I have due in Mammalogy tonight is done, the reading is done, Teacher Training weekend #1 is done.  I can let my shoulders down a little and reflect.

Just for a smidge, though, since I still have an intense work-day ahead.  And work has been so crazy lately, a phenomenon I am observing with a weird sense of calm most of the time, panic at some others.  Once I'm in the car tonight after Mammalogy lecture, I think I'll be able to fully let it all go and potentially sleep for more than 5 hours at a go.

OK, so Teacher Training.


Sianna is masterful, just an amazing teacher, just so inspiring with her stack of bound Clairefontaine notebooks, delivery and utter knowing of her subject.  I feel so fortunate to be in her presence, to be learning to be a teacher from her.

I think we were teaching a pose to each other within the first 15 minutes of starting the first class.  I so appreciated being thrown into it, the deep and repeated trust that we can all do this, that we're ready, that it's our time.

It is a huge stretch.  It's humbling, to say the least, to find myself in the seat of the teacher and discover that my words, oh great life-long familiars, have utterly deserted me.  It's humbling to come to know that listening, even listening deeply for years and years, that note-taking and reading and studying, while good, don't make it any easier for the right words to come tumbling from my mouth just like that.  The motions are so familiar and yet standing in front of eager students listening for instruction, how humbling and challenging and awe-inspiring to find the way to call out the Twister, color it with poetry, watch the bodies take the form.

The one-on-one work is the hardest.  Somehow it's easier to be in a group of 6 or 10, teaching to more people.  The feedback is lovely and helpful.

And it's magic really, to know that you're in a position of really being able to help people, help them to feel good, just by connecting them to what they already are, to stand there on strong feet and see the effect of the words on different bodies, the way a phrase can inspire a person to grow larger into their own shape.

But I left last night thinking, Oh dear, really?  Seriously?  Yes, I think I can, but others are already so good at it, so much better than me, how will I ever catch up, will I ever catch up?

Training to be a teacher really is jumping in the fire.  I am facing already all of my own demons -- self-doubt, self-doubt, and oh yeah, self-doubt -- and while I know that I'll come out on the other side better than just fine, REfineD in fact, at the end of this perfect two-week storm, the flame is pretty hot.

What I realized on the second day is that teaching yoga really is truly seeing the people in front of you.  Uh, maybe that's just what yoga really is all the time, actually -- learning to see with the right eyes, the eyes that see the good that's always there, the bold, shiny beauty in each person that yearns to be expressed.  And that is truly awe-some, truly an honor and a terrifying responsibility: to be the one who coaxes that out, with kindness, with words, with asana.  But if I'm being honest, I have a long life experience on not really looking at people, so now I'm retraining my vision, getting a new prescription as Laura would say.

So glad to be in this fire right now.  So grateful to all of my teachers.  So looking forward to the next weekend with my new kula, the Sri Ganesha kula (aka, in my head, the Yo Ganesha kula), which won't be -- unfortunately -- until December.  That's good, though.  It gives me plenty of time to hydrate and get ready for the next time, check out the new tools I've gained, stay in this hot place and sweat it out.

PS For those for whom it might make a difference (perhaps only me), yes, I am singing Metallica "Jump in the Fire" pretty much non-stop, mantra du matin.  So come on!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

thank you for your honest and compassionate post. I have so many of the same feelings when I come home from my TTP classes. Self-doubt is a really hard one to put away, but I guess it is something that everyone must go through when they're on a journey like this. Thanks again!