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Life Support

September 15, 2011

No apologies, no excuses…let us just be grateful to once again bask in the warm glow of each other’s company. The Dharma Chameleon has awakened from a long, long slumber. As many of you know, inspiration is a fleeting and funny thing.  Over the last  few months it isn’t that I haven’t had anything to say – anyone who knows me will be quick to correct you, as I always have something  to say.

While I was in my “dream land” I kept you all in my thoughts, and I would occasionally catalog various items I felt worth blogging about. It was, however, to no avail and the only place those items of interest made it to was a “desktop sticky.” Here are the things I meant to tell you about, and please, remind me to embellish on these fledgling thoughts in the near future:  ayurveda (yes, again), chanting (it’s not weird, I swear), inner-tuning, Swami Vishnudevananda, Kirtan (more chanting!), Ashrams, Yogi Politics (ugh, just as unattractive as normal politics), Pratima (more ayurveda!), and intuitive healing.

But now I’ll tell you about what awakened me again: teaching. Oh, don’t get all bored already. It’s not some highfalutin tale of uplifting our nation’s youth. No, for that I recommend Jaime Escalante’s  tale of conquest over unruly ghetto teens in the field of  mathematics. At this point it has been about 7 months since I finished my first training and in another 5 months I will have finished my 500 hour training. That said, I don’t do a whole lot of teaching…just a bit here and there. I have my one “private student” and I teach some of the community classes at Yoga Sutra, which the community has apparently not heard of.  It is safe to say I don’t have an outstanding understanding of what it means to be a teacher, but I have definitely been a student for long enough to understand the community and the climate surrounding most yoga spots. Let’s just say it can get pretty weird out there. Anytime you take people’s vanity and egos and intermingle it with spirituality and inner-searchiness (yes, I just made up that term and yes, you’re welcome to use it at will) you are just down right asking for trouble. Mix in entitlement coming from the fact that practicing yoga is pretty pricey and you’re teetering on the edge of disaster.

Fortunately, in my short life as a yoga teacher I have not had to deal much with any of this. But I know it is out there. People come to yoga with a preconceived notion of  yoga and then get disappointed, or even angry when they don’t get what they came for. How dare we, as yoga teachers, stray from the accepted standards of uttanasana, plank, chaturanga, up-dog, down-dog?  How dare we ask you to chant the sacred syllable OM? How dare we introduce chanting or visualization? WHY IN GOD’S NAME ARE  WE WASTING YOUR EXERCISE TIME WITH MEDITATION? GODDAMN US! Listen people, the goal of yoga is meditation. If you can’t deal with that as a possible end destination, then perhaps a spin class might be more suitable. I will tell you though, that spin classes are pretty brutal on the crotch. So, get yourself a pair of those shorts with the special panty pads so that you don’t bruise your mons pubis or your balls, if you have those.

I welcome all into my classes, but I believe that it is with an open mind/heart that you must come into any new experience. I don’t go Mario Batali’s restaurant and tell him how to make a pasta sauce (although I might remind him, as I often do to others, that tomatoes are not a plant native to Europe and thus a tomato sauce is really not native  to Italian cuisine). It is really nice, as a teacher, to feel like you are teaching and that you are making a difference even if it is minute. Not that I have never had this feeling before,  and not that I don’t enjoy teaching all of my classes (though few, and often completely empty) but tonight it was profound. I had a class full of young college students who were brand new beginners. They had pretty much only heard of yoga and didn’t really have too many expectations. They were just there, in their jeans and t-shirts for the most part but they were committed to do yoga (whatever that meant) for the hour they were in my care. Varying levels of flexibility and ability made themselves apparent pretty much immediately but everyone was really into it, smiling and awaiting the next challenge. They also didn’t put too much a stake in the class, which seems to have meant that they enjoyed it more. I didn’t feel like I was being held directly responsible for someone’s salvation, physical transformation or otherwise. Let me tell you peeps, that takes off a huge load of pressure and really makes the teaching experience shine through with a new wattage. I’m no Ghandi, and I’m not Hans-n-Franz. Although, truthfully I wish were a bit more like all of those people.

Needless to say, it was a refreshing experience. Really, though, the most important aspect of this experience is the resuscitation of the Dharma Chameleon. Welcome back, bitches.

One Comment leave one →
  1. mamma permalink
    September 16, 2011 8:08 pm

    I’ve missed DC, welcome back!

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