Asana and Teachable Moments

Posted on March 10, 2012


So I have this guilt complex about being a yoga teacher and also being a medicated manic depressive.

Asana is a practice steeped in energy – you don’t have to be a gypsy yogi like myself to experience the way a room moves based on the ebb and flow of the practitioners emotional content and context. The physical body will reveal imbalances. If one is somatically or emotionally skewed it will seep out during practice. You know when you’re on your mat and totally ready to get deep into your practice and an “I shall win” rolls out next to you and totally changes the tone and focus of your practice? That’s kind of how this guilt manifests and feels. This competitive personality beside you will focus on the physical and look at everyone around them to be sure that they “win” the pose to the disadvantage of the body, soul and heart. Perhaps you pick up on the competition – try to push your practice deeper because YOU don’t want to lose. Their energy activated you though it wasn’t your goal when you stepped on the mat.

The bhagavad gita tells us that grasping too tightly to the things of this world is where attachments arise. Holding only to how we want it to be is how anger is born. Not understanding the inevitability of change confuses and clouds the mind. I get it. That this feeling of guilt is a mixture of the scratched lenses of sanskaras-left over pieces from living that affect our point of focus through which we experience the world and my inability to let the fuck go of my perceptions.

I admit it. I am attached.

I worry that the energy that shifts in me, turns me and turns me into emotional jelly could also shift those who take my class. Depressive transference. Maybe I’m being too conscious but I feel like consciousness is far better than mopping up the pieces of a student after my feelings melt into them.

I’m good at it. Teaching. I have passion. Love giving to others. I really dig creating a juicy flow and I am conscious enough to put myself through my class before I teach it to be sure that it feels right. That there are no sticky parts to trip up practitioners during the flow. I love showing other people how to dig into the body and find gems of wisdom buried there. I love guided meditation and yoga nidra.

When I was young I had things that I loved too fully. Pets. Relationships. Physical things and when I lost them it dig little fissures into my heart. “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

And so perhaps instead it is this: Feeling guilty about being a cyclic depressive allows me to smother my dreams of teaching and takes away fear of losing something that I love so fully. It engages my barriers to keep out love.

When I get too deep into this – walking the knifes edge of philosophy and my personal psychology. When I tether myself with bonds of both knowingness and uncertainty. I know how I am. I don’t know where I am going. I try to meditate on Samsara – the wandering path through levels of existence…that emotions like this, fears like this are a part of the human experience and in this moment right now they are a part of my learning.

Signing off for now to sit with this –