Photo: ©2011 Barbara Denowh
The creepy touch. You know, when a teacher isn’t really making an adjustment? I don’t want to be that teacher.
BY MAGAZINE COLUMNIST BARBARA DENOWH
Well, folks, looks like I will stay with my appetizer. I didn’t get quite enough.
We talked a lot about adjustments today. I’m not a touchy teacher and am learning lots of wonderful ways to assist without touching or touching minimally.
My thoughts on adjustments are this: I am such a new teacher that I just don’t know enough yet. I need to increase my anatomical knowledge so I know exactly what my adjustment is doing. I’m doing this yoga teaching thing to make people feel better, not crank them.
On the opposite side of the big adjustment (think revolutionary in the pose, not huge physical movement) is the creepy touch. You know, when a teacher isn’t really making an adjustment… just invading your space and touching you inappropriately? I don’t want to be that teacher.
I hate to belabor this whole adjustment deal. My pitta self just wants that experience and knowledge so I can do it now! Adjustments are my Rachmaninov. I can’t sit down at the piano and knock a piece out. I have to play with the keys and know what sound they make.
We are doing other things here. Expanding practices. Making huge discoveries. Recognizing old habits. Experiencing all the ways this practice can strip away layers and reveal something shiny and new.
It often feels so silly to talk about yoga this way… as revolutionary. But it is and it can bring about big changes.
We sit every morning for twenty minutes. Facing the ocean. The breeze swirling around us, mixing our energy.
I must confess that every time I sit I cry. Not heaving sobs, mind you, but silent flowing tears. My meditation is that time that I just sit with myself and cry. Tears of joy. Tears of frustration. Tears of fear. Tears for no reason.
Or maybe the tears can be some big metaphorical cleansing of my sight. Washing away illusion and bringing clarity.
Practicing in good company
And, usually, I feel a sinking down in my meditation. That I am sinking toward the center of being. This week I am experiencing something so totally different. It is a lifting up. A lightness. Like something is pulling me up from the core of my being. My gaze is shifting up.
I know this because my tears usually run down my cheek and drop off. This week they have been running down my cheek and then the exposed flesh of my throat.
I’m not sure exactly what it is, but I would venture to guess that it has something to do with this space. This experience of being with Cora and these students who are themselves just giving, sharing teachers.
It might be actual bliss.
Barbara Denowh is a yoga teacher in Helena, Montana. You can find her in cyberspace on Facebook or at her website denowhyoga.com. She also rambles about yoga, teaching, her wonderful husband, and her hound at babsbabble.com
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© 2011, The Magazine of Yoga, LLC.