Yesterday evening someone did something hurtful. I came home angry. I spouted off an angry email telling this person all the ways I had been hurt, and saved it as a draft with every intention of sending it later. I laid in bed stewing way too late (to no one’s detriment but my own, might I add, since morning came around very quickly), I went to teacher training angry, and I remained angry through our ass-kicking morning practice. (Though I do have to say that, when all is said and done, an ass-kicking practice is probably exactly what I needed.)
Then at some point today, someone made a throw-away comment about how every student’s experience with yoga really comes down to their teacher and their teacher’s relationship with yoga and life. The comment really struck me–because it’s true. One of the most compelling things about yoga is that, at its best, it can be inspirational and renewing. It can reframe life. And it’s the teacher that determines whether or not that happens. The times I’ve been consistent with yoga have been when I’ve had teachers I really love. Teachers who are compassionate and present. Teachers who seem to know just the right thing to say at just the right time. That’s the magic of yoga.
I may or may not ultimately become a yoga teacher. But it struck me that I’m in the middle of this really profound experience right now–an experience that has required me to dig really deep on a lot of levels and get really up close with and honest with myself. If there has ever been a time in my life when it doesn’t serve me to nurture anger or resentment, this is certainly it. It does me no good, and it does no good to put it into the world. Furthermore, my life is really good right now. Why fixate on this one, tiny little element? Just like that, the anger went away and peace came over me. Addressing whatever wrongdoing I felt had been done was no longer important. Coming to this realization felt like being cleansed and freed.
Perhaps because I was so happy to get out of my head and into the distraction and intensity of training today, I finally broke through my wall of shyness and was able to connect much more with people today. It felt really good. Today was definitely a day of progress … in some ways.
While I feel like I’m making strides emotionally and mentally thanks to training, my yoga may have hit the point where it’s getting worse. The practice this morning almost did me in–it was a lot of long holds on lunges and twists, including the bane of my existence, utkatasana. I had to release a few times, which drove me crazy since something my friend said to me last night kept ringing in my ears: “You are in life who you are on the mat.” It made me feel like a quitter. But I suppose it also means something that I keep coming to the mat.
Technically, today was much like yesterday: morning practice, then a lesson on sequencing, more seated and standing pose breakdowns, history and philosophy of yoga, and a very welcome restorative practice to end the day.