I’m always struck with how much there is to learn. Writing these posts are in a sense, the most disposable form of content; they are my experiences as seen through the subjective lense of the mind, given to change and shift in any moment; in fact, experiences are nothing but memory and perception, and it’s almost guaranteed to change. Likewise, on any given day a teacher may be going through personal issues, be late or rushed to class for many reasons out of their control, and a yoga studio or members of its staff are inevitably facing their own life situations as well.
One learning from the week is to be more sensitive to the human experience we are all going through, and when feeling let down by a studio or by a teacher (or anyone, for that matter) for what presumably is a legitimate reason, a sensible thing to do is to let the them know in a kind way so they can rectify it if they care. In short, not assuming people know what your expectations are, and being gracious when giving feedback. The optimal time to give feedback, or course, is when asked. Triyoga does a discreet job requesting feedback by leaving forms in the changing rooms, where people may feel more at ease to give honest feedback.
It could be that the biggest learning of the week is that a key to giving a good class as a teacher is to be honest without being too heavy handed; to find the humour whatever the situation, to let go, and to trust that the knowledge and compassion for others is there.
The best classes I’ve taken so far have been with teachers who have exposed themselves, who have been authentic and generous with their personality. This seems to come with the comfort of the confidence in knowing what one is doing – esse quam videri – to be and not to seem (my high school’s motto).
This is especially poignant for me given that as a teacher I’ve been getting that very feedback – to have more fun, to not be so serious while teaching. For me that’s a challenge as I don’t consider myself to be a funny person, especially not in a group. I was born into a family of subjective thinkers. When we hear the word ‘black’, we think the word ‘charcoal’ instead of ‘white’, the answer most people would give…but I digress.
The other learning for the week is to listen to my body and not expect to have boundless energy like I did in my 20’s. Whether its because I’m getting on 40, a relatively new mum or because I’m blessed with an imperfect body that (I like to think) keeps me humble, practicing yoga is all about being content with what is going on in the present, not with what we could do 10 years ago or what we might do in the future or under a different set of circumstances, but being here now, having some faith that everything is as it should be.
I’m looking forward to these last days of the challenge and seeing what else comes up, and how I can actively continue to learn with each practice…and maybe even learn how to lighten up along the way (without having to resort to poopy jokes which works pretty well at home)…