Thursday, May 5, 2011

Hold back!

Today I sat through a 1 hour talk about Clinical Energetics. I don't know what I was expecting but a friend recommended it to me. It was taught by Gary Strauss and though it was pretty brief it gave me perspective in my Yoga practice as an instructor.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about what it is to be an instructor or a teacher. Sometimes I think...that's not me. I don't like being the person to tell people what they should be doing because I naturally do not like being told what to do. If its cold out and my mother says bring a warmer jacket or sweater I will automatically NOT listen to her. Its just a plain old bad habit. Mostly this idea of teaching or instructing brings me to a place where I think...I know my body and myself best, because I am me, and its my body. Just like you know yourself and your body best because its yours, you deal with it everyday since the day you were born. Which is why sometimes I feel like its not my place to tell people what to be doing -what do I really know? What do I know more about my yoga students than they do? Though when I think of teaching yoga as a guidance it feels more...ME -I feel more comfortable putting it out there.

So there is this idea that whatever energy you walk into a room with you taint it with. And there is this idea of holding all the energy back in order to allow people who are going through something to have space. This idea of "Holding Space". I loved how this applied so much to my Yoga practice and also what I do wrong as a Yoga teacher. Sometimes I am so worried if the students are enjoying class that the worry is taking up too much of the physical space and that energy is effecting them. There is something to be said about holding all of that back as much as possible while teaching because people's bodies have an innate sense of healing themselves. Its all about giving them the space to do so and giving guidance. Instead of thinking about whether or not the class is going well, or rather thinking about myself, I should be holding it back and thinking that these students know what to do for themselves to make the experience enjoyable. They have their own intuition about how their body is doing at any given moment or in any pose.

Practice yoga outdoors and see how different the energy around you feels when you're not contained and you have infinite space. In the class today Gary Strauss had everyone in the room who complained of back or shoulder pain sit in the front of the room while everyone else in the room made a conscious effort to bring their energy behind them. The others were only told to think "all beings have the capacity to take care of themselves" and "all living things are intelligent" I was sitting in the front of the room with lower back and shoulder pain and after just sitting there I felt the sensations of: lightness and coolness. It was like a weight was lifted. My pain definitely eased but, thought it didn't go away completely or stay away, but there was something there.

So stay positive and don't taint the space with self important junk!

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