I taught yoga tonight as I do on most Tuesday nights and I was particularly distracted. This happens from time to time if there is a lot on my mind. I start to mindlessly teach and that’s a bad idea. I get too tuned into my thoughts and my feelings about the practice that I often hold poses longer than my participants would. I get lost in the breathing exercises or I run laundry lists of things as we enter final relaxation. Teaching is not my time to practice or unwind; that time belongs to my participants and students.
In my yoga trainings I teach other instructors not to showboat or use that time for their own practice. I preach that in order to be the best instructor, you must establish a personal practice of your own. My personal practice has been a lot of self study and little time on the mat. When I am meant to be there for my students, I find my brain floating in a sea of ideas.
But, what this monkey mind (what yogis and yoginis refer to as a wandering mind during meditation) has taught me is that my own practice needs something more of a dedication from me. I have been dedicating a lot of time to my running in the early mornings. And when I get back in from my run I spend a little time doing some exercises….when I have time…..and catching up on computer work. But my yoga practice is slipping on a personal level. I could push harder and get better at a lot of my poses, but instead I have been playing catch up on the rest of life. Because many of my participants do not have the years of experience I do, they do not push as far into the poses, hold them as long, nor attempt the more intense variations that I could do if I dedicated more time to the practice.
I wrote a little bit about this in 2014 when I reviewed Benjamin Lorr’s book, but I think I need more in 2016. So, I am picking 3 poses:
These are the three on which I will focus the brunt of my physical energy in yoga. Not that I want to master them this year, but that I want to do better with practicing. Yoga is not perfection….it’s a practice.
My Day 25 resolution is to improve these three poses by pushing through the uncertainty and giving them more attention.
What’s the pose you want to attempt this year?