Monday, September 29, 2008

A Whisper and A Shout

Head yourself over to Patti's Purling Place and get glimpse of a gorgeous item she has created using some Wee Ball Yarn. She sent me a picture with a fuller view but since the project in question is a gift, it must needs remain secret. I am thrilled to see my yarn in action. I always wonder what becomes of it and, so far, Patti is the only person who has sent me a finished project photo. A nice sense of the circle coming closed.

We finished our third week of yoga training this weekend and next weekend is off, a welcome rest. The program I am involved with puts a fair emphasis on subjects other than asanas (and appropriately so in my opinion). We spend a lot of time on anatomy, sanskrit, pranayama, vedic chanting, etc.. Much to my surprise, I am enjoying all those things quite a bit, although my ability to memorize seems to have declined in a serious way since the last time I was in a class of any kind.

As someone who was a participant in a yoga class, I always disliked it when teachers spent a lot of time on breathing exercises (pranayama) or chanting - I even felt strange about beginning and ending with "om". Now I am realizing that these two things are, in fact, the meat and potatoes of yoga. Hmmm....that's not such a great analogy....they are the dal and rice of yoga. As these realizations become clearer, I start to have thoughts much like I did during my childbirth educator training. That is, that most people are not ready to hear these things. Most people go to yoga for a workout and maybe that nice time at the end when we get to lay on the mat on our backs and relax.

As a childbirth educator, I was never able to reconcile the urgency I felt that women should be able to experience birth fully because it offers something so profound and life changing that, to miss it, feels like the greatest crime ever perpetrated on womankind. (It was hard not to fall in conspiracy mode, with evil men keeping women from recognizing their incredible power, etc., etc..). So, I was all filled with this passion and then I would teach a class of couples whose primary question was "when do I get my epidural?" If I got too far into things like "owning your power", I could see and feel people shutting me out - I was not giving them what they wanted. They were having a baby, not looking for a path to liberation. Ultimately, I had to stop trying to teach because I couldn't take it. I was starting to get angry at my students for what I perceived as a laziness about knowing themselves.

As my understanding of the potential of yoga has grown, I started to have worries that I would not be able to find people who would want to take a class that included some of the more esoteric (yet vital) aspects of yoga, and the same situation would occur. I was starting to get rather uptight about it, already arguing with imaginary students. Gawd. Then I thought, you idiot! How have I come to this place if not by taking lots of classes, most of which I saw as a nice workout and then you get to lay on the mat and relax at the end. Somehow I managed to figure it out and others will too.

Sometimes a whisper is better than a shout.

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