We have crossed the halfway mark of our time here in Nashville. Each day, classes have run from 7 am to 6:30 p.m. with short breaks for breakfast and lunch. If it is very intense for the students, I imagine it is doubly intense for the teachers (there are three). They are giving us everything they have, without holding back. In fact, that is their goal so that, at the end of the three years, we will be our own personal version of everything they know. And they know a LOT.
It's funny. We all arrived a bit cautious about the others and unsure of our own abilities and experiences. Some people, especially the West Coast people, know each other but many of us arrived alone without a friend to sit next to for reassurance. We have slowly - and quickly - come to know each other through class discussion and mealtime conversations. Although it has been my multi-year project to be less shy and more open, I was plenty wary of my fellow students. As one person put it, yoga people can be so weird.
To my delight, I have had no reason to stay wary. Far from weird, we are, as a group, interesting, experienced, sincere people. Some have more knowledge in one area and some in another but we all have something to contribute and we share a deep desire to learn and to be of service to people who are interested in how yoga can be used therapeutically. If I may say so, we are a most excellent group! No doubt this is because the teachers are most excellent. I hope you will study with them if you can.
Besides the in-depth discussions about philosophical topics - oh yes, I can go on about the meaning of life, believe me! - I am especially fascinated by the three observations we have done. Three willing (and brave) people have come in and had three consultations with one of the teachers while we listen and watch. After their visit and the person leaves, we discuss our observations and clarify what we saw and didn't see. Each of the people has a serious issue - two of them are living a life of debilitating chronic pain. Watching the teachers in action has been beyond inspiring. Each of the people has come in a bit scared and uncertain about this process and has left clearly feeling better than they have in years.
It is rather heartbreaking to be honest. Our tools are so simple and so easily within reach for absolutely everyone. It is hard to reflect on the years of suffering that each of these people have endured, going from doctor to procedure and medication. Maybe it is exactly because part of the healing comes from stopping the notion that the fix is coming from "out there" and to turn the light around about what is happening, and not happening, in here. To be clear, I don't mean that, if you break your leg, you can meditate your way to proper bone healing. Of course not. At the same time....look closely, really closely, at your life. Often the answers are not far off at all.
It is difficult to even begin to share in a coherent way all that has already happened in a few days. Fortunately for me, another participant is more eloquent than I am. Please read what she has to say. It's lovely and, truly, just the tip of the iceberg here in steamy Nashville.