Tuesday, May 08, 2007

YOGA | Change, Renewal and Birth

I can be very picky about my yoga teachers, especially in areas where I feel insecure. Sometimes it's the teaching style of the teacher, and sometimes it’s about the intangible — like a vibe you get from them.

Thankfully I like most of the teachers at my yoga studio. They offer a nurturing environment where I feel safe to explore my boundaries. Over the past year I have come to appreciate the different styles of many of the teachers. Even in the classes of some of my non-favored teachers, I have come to learn a few important lessons about myself, and my approach to yoga.

Recently, one of my favourite teacher, P. left the studio for another teaching position. Her weekend Ashtanga classes used to be a regular for me, but in her absence I can’t bring myself to go for Ashtanga anymore.

The Ashtanga practice is a vigorous one, and it often attract an aggressive and competitive crowd that can be quite intimidating. What I like about P’s Ashtanga classes is how stress-free they feel compared to the other classes conducted by the other Ashtanga teachers. This is mainly because P. takes a patient, compassionate approach to her teaching. She is watchful and protective around her students, and when she comes over to adjust your posture, her touch is always gentle, it never feels intrusive.

Besides Ashtanga, P. also teaches Kids’ Yoga. It’s not a contradiction if you are familiar with her classes. Teaching yoga to children requires great patience and watchfulness, because you don’t want them to get hurt. You also have to be good with children, because children can sense when people are uneasy or awkward around them. P. brings her refreshing youthful energy into class; she is like a breath of fresh air.

I will miss her.

My yoga practice is my own, and mine only. A teacher leaving should not affect my practice, but it does. This feeling reminds me how easily I am influenced by external circumstances, and how uneasy I am with change. Change is constant, but we resist it all the time, especially when it means losing that which we love.

My membership with the yoga studio is due for renewal soon. I’m considering the 24 months contract, but it seems like too long a commitment. A lot of things can change in two years; my favourite teachers may not be around in two years.

I am apprehensive about what may come. Change however, is necessary for growth and transformation. It makes redemption possible because a person is not a stagnant entity.

Change is also what allows for renewal and birth - Two of our yoga teachers had a baby boy recently. Arjuna Eagleye was born 9th April at 24.56hrs. His parents are kind, gentle, beautiful people. We wish little Arjuna health, wisdom and abundance.

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