My plan for life after Teacher Training is to immediately begin again.
I plan to take a Skillpack per month beginning in June of 2012 and really dig deep into each packet of goodness. Such a wealth of information and resources already here and available for savoring. What a luxury to be able to really process and absorb all the treats on and off the mat.
For over a decade classes have been the mainstay of my yoga practice. While I will always be learning, this is the season of exploring and examining in self directed practice.
Teaching in order to continue to learn is also in the mix. I have learned so much from watching students use the gift that is their bodies. We are amazing beings. It is an honor to guide other students as they explore pure potential and opportunities.
When I take on a new recipe I always follow the directions exactly and without modification the first time. After that…it’s all mine. Free to add a little of this, leave out a little of that, listen to my heart and enjoy. Oh…leftovers? Enjoying something for the second and third time? THE BEST!
Santosha “peaceful kind of happiness in which one rests without desires.”
Perhaps Santosha seeps into the cracks of life when we reach the state of the observer. Contentment, bone deep satisfaction and ease are most available to me when I stop judging every emotion and sensation and just see it for what it is.
Sniffle. I am sad.
Really? What is sad?
Sad is an emotion.
Right. What is really happening right now? Oh. I am tired.
Yes. And? Hungry.
O.K. And? My body hurts.
So. You are tired and hungry and your body hurts. Right.
And sad is…? Sad is fear.
Right. Sad is fear. Fear is not a state of being. Fear is an emotion. Not to be denied or ignored…but not a state of being.
Hmmm…so when I eat, take Advil and sleep I will no longer be sad.
Sigh- You will no longer be hungry, tired and in pain. Sad is an emotion. You can never BE an emotion.
But I can be at ease in the world. I can choose not to judge. I can choose not to struggle. I can open to Santosha.
This year has been a profound period of transition, spiritual growth, fear, joy, connection and loneliness in my life. Yoga practice in a group setting is at times…solace…connection through similar experience and a time to be with people and yet not connected with people. In my classic style, I had been feeling fairly confident in my situation. Getting my sea legs back and sensing that there would be a time that life could feel safe again. Feeling sure that I could handle what ever might come next. Strong and somewhat isolated.
Strength. My Strength. Me. Alone. Hardened.
One evening in late February, I was muscling through a great advanced flow class. Sweating, intense, disconnected and determined, I dropped into Child’s Pose as instructed. As the group recovered, the instructor gently touched my back, released my sacrum and lengthened my spine. Touched my back, released my heart, and softened the buried-deep-hard spot.
Touch…oh how I missed human contact. Oh how I miss the connection of a careful, loving touch. Innocent and compassionate in intention, and yet full of healing power and perfect timing.
Mary Paffard writes in her piece, “APARIGRAHA – non grasping” that “wanting things to be otherwise is the very essence of suffering”. Indeed.
Take for example…my hair.
It’s been a process (and been processed) for decades, but coming to terms with the reality of my hair has been the classic example of swimming against the standard consumer current. You might recall an earlier posting in this blog that referred to coming of age in the 70’s.
The 70’s = Peggy Lipton/blond/straight/parted-down-the-middle/waist length hair.
Reality = fine/beige/kinky/curly/frizzy/anxiety
From the age of 13, my hair has been ironed, processed, rolled, curled, flat ironed, blown out, bleached, highlighted, short, long, wrapped, pinned, stuffed under caps and scarves, taped and dippity-do’d within an inch of its life. It’s been down to my waist on a good (dry) hair day and cut 1/2 inch short. Afro one year…ponytail the next.
Flaming psycho red
Thousands and thousands of dollars as well as hours of Life…wanting it to be otherwise.
Twelve years ago an easing of the grasp. If it wants to curl…let it curl.
One year ago in May…good-by hair dye.
Born by a desire to simplify and curiosity.
What do I really look like?
Big news: real hair is shiny and healthy and yes…very silver.
I love it.
In the course of our study, we’ve moved through the yamas and looked at truth, stealing, and last weekend…celibacy.
Relationship of separation vs. relationship of whole.
Turtles and mustaches.
Cavemen (Can I eat it?…Will it eat me…Can I screw it?)
…and just as truth and non stealing were such bigger concepts..guess what!?!
Turns out brahmacharya isn’t really about sex.
It’s about wholeness.
The letting go of self and yet “bowing to the innate quality of our own Heart”. A willingness to connect with Everything without personal filters.
Even future students. They’re not the enemy either. They’re not even them.
We’re all students of something.
High level of engagement…low attachment to outcome.
Non grasping – Aparigraha
oops…that’s next week…stay tuned!