Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Weeding the Garden

I figured something out a couple of weekends ago. Weeding is much easier after a heavy rain. Unfortunately, two weeks ago was the first time all year that I have done it. It was mid-June, where we have had an onset of really lovely warm weather this year, followed by some great rain showers… so as you can imagine, our front yard landscaping has turned into a jungle. It is overwhelming. I have tackled about a quarter of it in 2 and a half hours on a Saturday, then another 2 hours on Sunday. Then this past weekend, another 3 hours. Really and great, big mess.

Where am I going with this? Well, I got to thinking, as I was pulling out milk weeds that have grown up to my shoulders – weeding is a lot like the dialogue: If you don’t stick with it on a regular basis, it becomes an enormous undertaking to get it back on track. And just like weeds overtaking our landscaping, if we, as teachers, begin to let these little weeds into our teaching without nipping them in the bud right away, suddenly we are up to our ears spewing all kinds of nonsense that just grows bigger and bigger, and by the time we realize we need to get back on track, we are so far away from the words on the page, we don’t even know how it got so out of hand. (wow… hello, run-on sentence!) But if we stick with the dialogue, even go back to it every week to make sure that there aren’t any weeds creeping in to what we are saying, then our classes will be strong and our students will grow with precision.

I think we have all been in classes where we are listening to the teacher and thinking to ourselves, “Huh? What are they saying??” (Or maybe it is just teachers that do that? I don’t know… I know I did it as a student, too.) These are perhaps teachers that have been teaching for years and years and years. Maybe they are the teachers that went to training when there wasn’t even a “dialogue”. There are so many reasons that people stray away. And once they do, it is overwhelming to attempt to go back. Going back is like looking at a football field full of ragweeds and thinking you have to pull them out by hand one by one. The only way to attempt this massive undertaking is to go square foot by square foot. Or in the case of teaching, posture by posture, sequence by sequence. We can’t expect to peruse thru our entire dialogue in one night and think that it is all going to fix itself that easily. But everyday, if we walk thru our garden and pull out any nagging little weeds, our landscaping will remain pristine, clean and beautiful. And as teachers, if we continue to get feedback from other teachers and work on the understanding and delivery of our dialogue day by day, our students will be the same: pristine, clean, beautiful.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

And we all Levitate

First of all, I have to just say that I am absolutely loving this new life of mine. Teaching full time is a dream job. I’m not actually sure I can even call it a job. It is A-freaking-MA-ZING. But more about that later…

This morning, I taught the 6am class. In the Auburn studio, students tend to roll in pretty early to class. I got there really early – like 5:15 and started with some chores. 5:30am hits, and the first student walks in. Then there was a continuous flow of students until 6 o’clock on the nose. 20 students in the 6am class! This I unbelievable! I’ve had large 6am classes, but this was over and above anything I’ve seen. I mean really – just think of the power of this yoga. To wake that many people up, as the birds are chirping their good morning songs, and into the Bikram Yoga Torture Chamber is pretty powerful stuff.

And what an incredible class it was. Get that many people together that early to start their day, and something pretty cool happens. I watched these simultaneous triangle poses – all four sides – SO STRONG. I couldn’t help but exclaim, “WOW!” I felt such an enormous surge of energy charging at me… like nothing I have felt before while teaching. The intense feeling has been coursing thru my veins all day, like adrenaline barreling me thru life with nothing to hold me back.

I’ve been thinking about that class all day today. I mean, when I walked in, there was literally a buzz of happy, smiling faces. A buzz of students that perhaps felt like they were “in the know”. A charge that I swear you could see! Some of the students that I’ve never seen before at 6am, must’ve been thinking, “I can’t believe how many people come to yoga this early!” And the rest of the regulars that are there for the early classes seemed to have all shown up on the same day. They must have been thinking, “Yes! More people means more energy!” And me? I literally walk into the room saying, “What are you all doing here? This is AWESOME! And start giggling with giddy excitement for the class ahead of me.

All that I know right now is that I have seen before me the power you can ride off of with collective energy. Can you imagine if the entire state of Massachusetts woke up early to come to yoga class on any given day? The entire country? The world?? I’m having a hard time finding the words. I just know that that energy could cure cancer, create world peace, and quite possibly, make us all levitate.