Friday, October 24, 2014

A New Way of Life

Dear Friends,

Svami Purna suggested I teach yoga asana. Although I had taken many yoga classes, I did not enjoy them enough to practice consistently or seek them out. Finally I took His advice and attended a 16 day Yoga Teacher Training course through Gilbert Yoga in the forest of Arizona. Day after day, I enjoyed it more. Suddenly, I realized yoga asanas would be a life-long practice. It was a powerful movement meditation that cultivated energy in the body. Very helpful for increasing meditation and mindfulness. Body became firm and flexible.

I felt anxious about two things during the yoga teacher training. First of all, my mind had decided that it would be difficult to lead a yoga asana course. Perhaps I would stumble because there were so many details to keep track of - alignment, descriptions of the movements, adjusting students, breathing. I lacked confidence which led to nervousness. But when I led the last class for a group of people I did not know, it was easy and flowing. My mind relaxed: "I can do it. It is easier than I expected." With this new-found confidence, I was very excited to lead classes. My mind had turned a corner.

I felt anxious when one of the women in the class ignored me the majority of the time. She did not want to look me in the eye or talk in friendship. Indeed, it seemed she would often avoid me and then bond with the others. So I tried to be friendly. It did not work. I had hoped she would like me. By the end of the training, I cared less and less whether she gave me any attention at all. I looked at my own insecurity. Always concerned about whether a person liked me. Worried about whether I had done something wrong. Had I done something wrong? Was it necessary that everyone like me? Perhaps it was easier to be myself. It takes a lot of energy to be the "nice guy." So as I began to detach, she paid some attention to me, and I was surprised!

Almost every day, I practice asana. It has invigorated my life and allowed me to share another aspect of the spiritual path. My intention for yoga class is that each student connects to the Energy of Svamiji, the Grace that uplifts and inspires.

With love,