Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Garuda drishti

Someone told me a story a few weeks ago about a friend of hers who was super-offended in a yoga class recently when the teacher told her pointedly to put away her notebook.  Didn't ask, but told, along with words along the lines of, "get your own theme."  Now, I wasn't there so can't vouch for the veracity or completeness of this tale or provide more details.  All I know is that when I heard it, a groan escaped me.

Since I'm a person who always has a notebook on my mat, I paid attention to this story.  And since I'm a person who is often inspired by what I hear in class, inspired enough to write about it in the days or weeks that follow, I am still thinking about it.  I think the person who was told to put away her notebook was a teacher, so perhaps there was an element of proprietariness in the notebook-ban.  But I'm still a bit puzzled and bothered.  I mean, I just thought we were all scholars together, you know, learning from each other.  And what a form of flattery, really -- you said something so amazing that I am writing it down, so as not to forget it, so as to savor your words later, reflect on them, integrate them.

Ain't that the whole point?

Ever since I heard it, I think about this story every time I place my notebook on my mat, every time I grab my pencil in a pose and jot something down.  And just to be clear: I'm not always necessarily jotting words verbatim from the teacher's mouth.  Sometimes an idea, born of sweating in a pose, just pops into my head and I don't want to lose it.  Some classes I don't write anything at all, but the notebook is there.  It's a part of me.  It's what I do.  Mostly I am so in love with the whole yoga process, the teaching, the asana, the kula, that I want to be a troubadour of the experience, write songs of love about the practice -- the whole she-bang -- just because it inspires me to want to sing.

And so this morning, because I'm still thinking about the eagle-vision theme of last night's class with Abby, still feeling the impact of all that we went through together under her guidance in 90 minutes, with Todd Boston's amazing music, live, in the room with us, that's what I'm writing about.

I give full credit where it's due.  If I'm thinking about how as yogins, we balance big vision with laser focus, that's thanks to Abby last night.  If I'm still remembering the images of eagles seeing the entire canyon and the tiny mouse at the same time, that's all her.  If I'm feeling smarter this morning, that's thanks to all the brain-work we did in class last night.  All Abby. I bow down deep, I give thanks and I give praise, and above all I give devotion to the people who inspire me.  Thank you, Abby.  Again, you rocked my world.  And let's not forget about Todd.  You were amazing, too, as usual. Thank you.

And then I write about it.

I'm seeing differently this morning.  I feel strong. I have my Garuda glasses on.  I see like an eagle the big and the small, I see what's outside and I look inward, holding both in my amazing brain at the same time because I can.

Thank you to my teachers.  Thank you to the yoga.  Thank you to the crazy gift of embodiment.

And thank you to the notebook that comes with me everywhere I go.  I want you to know, little book, little chronicler of the big vision and the little details: no teacher can come between us.  You will keep company with me, on my mat, always, that we may together scan the valley, looking for that mouse.

1 comment:

Janna said...

Perfect and true. I have experienced something similar when in a teacher's class and was told directly by this teacher to be sure i credited her with this technique if i used it in class. While i agree we should give credit where it is due, she was most certainly not the first to offer it up, and i am certain the first one who showed me did not learn from this teacher. Yoga is a practice of tapping in and sometimes the gifts come through many different channels at the same time. And I thank my teacher Ulrika Engman for showing me that light.