Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Yoga Themes: Thematic Yogi

I've been trying out different ways of structuring my classes so I have something to work around. Teaching has been a lot of flailing around with moments of clarity, but I'm starting to notice a few things about what feels the best. I started with a pose - building the class around the pose. That's useful to an extent, but I lack immediate access to anatomical terminology to really feel like this is interesting and effective. That's a future undertaking. And then I tried thematic structuring, using poses as physical metaphors to tie into the theme I offer. What I've settled on so far is somewhere in between. I like having a pose to think about, but it's better when it has a little theme to go along with it. It feels more natural to chatter on about something not limited to the physical experience.

So this week's theme? Patience!

I was flipping through a book I've been loving (which my friend gave to me, even better), about meditation, and one of the big themes is "self-pacing." You can't rush your own development as a human being. Things happen at the rate they happen - there are a lot of competing clocks out there (the universe, happenstance, whatever), and the one that will always come in last is your own notion of where you are and how far along you are on whatever path you are on.

Patience is: an act of humility. It takes a lot of pride-swallowing to say, "I am not ready for this thing that I want to do/have/experience/learn." To wait instead. Harder. Boy, imagine if you had had the wisdom to decline certain experiences as they rose before you when you were younger because you weren't ready. Hm, that might get me into a Catch-22 - if you had the experience, you were ready for it, no? Well, maybe.

Maybe, because the next thing I read in this meditation book was (paraphrasing here), "better knowledge come to you lifetimes too late than a moment too soon." Yes, the possibility of misusing information and knowledge is big. But more importantly, this idea makes me feel better about the waiting part. Where's the fire? What's my hurry? One hundred more lifetimes would be fine, I'd do it all again 100 million times. If it takes that long to realize something, to be fully bloomed, that's fine. Better that than trying to be chasing personal evolution frantically, desperately. This little bit of wisdom makes it easier to be content with the here/now, methinks.

So I was thinking about this, and I came up with an image for patience. It's standing in a forest and seeing a deer in the distance. And then holding out an apple for the deer in an effort to get the deer to come eat the apple out of your hand. You clearly can't chase the deer. It's big and fast and easily spooked. Don't even let yourself feel too heavy on the earth for fear the branches breaking will frighten it away. Nope, just hold out the apple and wait. Make peace with the idea that the deer might never come, but hold out the apple anyway. I mean, if you don't hold out the apple, the deer will definitely never come.

And I like this thematically because if there's one thing I want people to take away from a yoga class, it's don't worry about it. Seriously, never do a handstand, that's fine. Never touch your toes, really, it's completely beside the point. Hold out the apple. Don't chase the deer. Just hold out the apple.

Does that jive? I'm into it. The other good thing is that I teach Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, so I can bust it out on Sunday, fix the big problems by Tuesday, and then polish it up for Thursday. It's great. Oh, maybe the point of this post from the reader's point of view is: only come to my Thursday classes. Hm, I'll have to mix it up a bit so that Sunday isn't always the cold run.

No comments:

Post a Comment