Back on the Horse

It’s hard to believe that more than a month has passed since last I wrote, but a second trip to LA followed by a two week cold left me disconnected from my body and the yogic world. Teaching for the first time in weeks felt hypocritical, as I had been an absent student. There was a sense of guilt, that I would be betraying my students, and so I took the first one I could find.

It was rough riding. I was seriously surprised how hard it was to stay in down dog. My wrists were aligned properly but watched in awe as the knuckles grew whiter and whiter. My shoulders tired quickly and my hips seemed stuck in place. Postures that were so simple and easy now required a tremendous amount of effort. I had also strangely forgotten my right and left. Teachers, myself included, often assume that students know these things but there is so much detail is these classes, inner ankle, outer ankle, head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes. I left class feeling physically and emotionally exhausted.

My guilt had turned into humility shared with a sense of wonder. It seems somewhere along we the way we are told to be on some path, a path that should be followed and any imperfections along the way: potholes, roadblocks, detours – are failures.

As a yoga teacher, I often put pressure on myself to also be a student and take class as often as possible, afraid that I would not continue my development as a student or teacher. But these last few weeks, haven’t been lost as I was still on the path, just a different one. In every one of the three classes I taught today, we focused on paying attention to where we are now. If we don’t know where we start from, how will we know where we are going, or ever be able to look back and know where we’ve been?

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