May 5, 2018
The Sunday Sangha Circular Look at ME!! Did you see?
In class the other day we were working on Tripod and I was reminded of my early days on the mat...
When I first started practicing yoga I used to think the asana didn't 'count' unless the teacher saw me do it. Of course this was not my mindset around the 'boring', ' easy' asanas like Vira 1, Vira 2.. basically any of the foundational asanas; but, the 'tricky', 'hard' asanas needed the eyes of the teacher for me to feel as though I really 'did' the practice.
For example I REALLY wanted (almost needed) the teacher to see me when I got up into my first headstand, arm balance, 'complicated' bind or twist... It was kind of like the years old question... ...If a tree falls in the woods does it make a sound?
.... If I get up into Bakasana (Crow pose) and the teacher doesn't see me does it count?
I write this because students often say to me
"You walked away just as I..."
"Your back was turned, but I..."
"Oh shoot! You missed it !I..."
"You didn't see but I..."
As a practitioner who has gone through my own vortex of needing validation on the mat and, now as a teacher, I have a few thoughts...
First and foremost (you all know what I am going to say..) YES, it 'counts', YES it 'matters', YES you rock!!! YES it's amazing! Good for you for doing the work it takes to 'arrive' somewhere new.
It's our outer conditioning that makes us think that validation is what creates truth; but in fact the truth, the nugget, the essence of the asana, when practiced, sinks deep inside of you, it moves energy around and creates greater vitality whether or not anyone sees you do it. Its all about YOU realizing the asana ( 'seat' ).
Now, I do have to add however, that as a teacher, when you witness a student arriving somewhere new on the mat it is pretty thrilling...
We do very small new things all the time in life, but we don't often recognize them as firsts.
So when we, as teachers, witness a 'First' it is exciting... whether its s first yoga class, or a first handstand, its all exciting!
BUT that excitement is about being a witness to the students experience, its NOT about validating the experience or taking credit for it ...or anything like that. Its simply about the honor of bearing witness.
So, the next time you have a 'First' on the Mat don't worry about who may have seen you ; instead know - that when you break new ground on the mat it ALWAYS leads to breaking new ground off the mat .. and that is true whether or not there are witnesses.
Jai Jai!! Sophie
Engage the physical to experience the energetic so that we might encounter the divine.
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