What are your thoughts on teaching, being a yoga teacher, or your desire to be a yoga teacher now compared to before you started this program?
This part of the journey was so unexpected for me. I came into the training at a moment of transition in teaching yoga . On purpose. I had been teaching a Monday morning yang yin class for six years. I loved my students and I loved teaching for the way it pushed me to explore the edges of my practice and challenged me to pull that together week after week in a coherent way. I learned so much from teaching. What I noticed in the last year of teaching was that my home practice kept pulling to meditation and yin and, though I was devoted to taking yang classes, I had to push my home practice toward yang in order to teach Monday morning. For this and many other reasons it was time to leave that particular studio and the start of the training seemed like the best way to make this break.
Over the course of these studious months, I uncovered an unconscious motivation to take this training. Somehow, on some level, I felt this would “clean up” my home practice, give me the kick in the butt I needed to do the real yoga, the yang that I loved to take would become more integral to my home practice. And, despite a resistant beginning of clinging to my old comfortable ways, this has actually occurred. There was just no getting around those four asana work sheets that had to be completed every two weeks. They pulled me on to my mat for an active exploration and I actually loved it. I have gone to places in arm balances and inversions that were never available to me before.
Concurrent with all this study, I continued to teach the Letting Go workshops I have taught for so long. I began to really recognize how much I loved this form of teaching, how easy it came to me, how naturally I was drawn to practice the elements of this body of work, how much it continues to spurn my creative fire. I can’t wait til there is time to work on the next edition of the book. I watched myself teach several workshops without any notes or planning, seeing who was in the room, what they needed and just offering it up in a totally integrated way.
I woke up one day wondering why I thought teaching had to be challenging, wondering what it would be like to teach a weekly class from a place of unconscious competence. And then I turned 63 a couple weeks ago. There was something about this birthday that opened up the door to ease and I am standing on the transom right now and I am interested. Somewhere deep inside I know it is time to shape my life toward ease. Learning and creating are one thing, challenge and struggle are something else. Feeling like I am enough is like putting on a new suit of clothes. It feels shiny and crinkly, not worn in, not quite fitting to the shape of me yet. But I am putting this new outfit on. The old one is laying on the floor and I still feel vaguely guilty when I look down at it. Time to let go.