Since June I have been teaching yoga two times each week over at Full Tilt Creative Centre in McIvers. Full Tilt is the brain child of Colette Urban. Over the past three years she has turned this former chicken farm into an active center for visiting artists and a small-scale organic farm. She also happens to have a great space for yoga, although we occasionally have to shift our mats to make way for installations in her gallery space.
I have a core group of about four students and then some people who come and go as their schedules allow. Over time we have come to decide that it makes sense for everyone to learn the ashtanga primary series (or half series, at least for now) so that they can continue with their practice even when I am not around, which is the beauty of ashtanga. I admit that I am a bit of a cheerleader for ashtanga, so it wasn't like they had to twist my arm too hard.
It has been really satisfying to observe how people, some of whom were totally new to yoga, have grown over the past weeks. As a new teacher, I don't have loads of confidence in my skills but I do have confidence in what I am teaching. It is especially wonderful to see people easing into half-lotus for the first time and to watch their chatturanga dandasana transform from saggy to solid.
Last night we walked slowly through the half series, really focusing on breath and alignment and the bandhas. Everyone looked so strong - it was really beautiful. And I don't think I will ever tire of the big smiles after savasana.
That's why we do it - to feel better afterwards. To extend the space between one thought and the next and carry that beyond our mats. It's real. I see it happening before my very eyes.