“The only constant is change.”
That quote is from Heraclitus. True dat.
I went to Kripalu to “fill my cup” after the “30 Days for $30 Yoga Challenge.” .
I needed lots of sleep, good food (that I did not have to prepare), and lots of yoga (that I did not have to lead.)
For me, Kripalu has always been my destination of choice for a few days of R&R. It is one of my favorite HDIZs (High Density Inspiration Zones.) It’s a place that is totally “count-on-able” for meeting my physical and spiritual needs.
Except this time it didn’t. And it “didn’t” in a big way. And here is where Heraclitus steps in (again).
‘You cannot step into the same river twice, for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you.’
Damn that Heraclitus.
I don’t know if Kripalu has changed or I have changed but the experience did not meet my needs for inspiration. I found the yoga classes flat, boring, uninspired. The teachers seemed tired and just “phoning it in.”
I used to love going to Kripalu mainly because I loved being in an environment where people were streaming out of classes all lit up by their programs or the yoga they just experienced.
I loved over-hearing them bubble over with joy and excitement. It was crazy, infectious and I felt a tribal affinity there. This time, all I heard were dull, cranky conversations about nothing from the people exiting the practice rooms.
But since I have taken a vow of non-complaining, (ahem), here’s all I want to say: Either I have changed, or it has changed, but something changed, and as a result, I won’t be going back to Kripalu again for R&R.
I was in deep mourning about this for awhile, but I have come to realize that, just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz who goes looking for her heart’s desire over the rainbow, but comes to find out that it was in her own backyard all along, I too have a High Density Inspiration Zone right here at Main Street Yoga.
During the month of April, I would come home from my classes reeling, my head spinning from all the vitality, the energy, the smiles, the expressed gratitude of my students. I could not fall asleep at night because I was so high from it all. It was such a rush! The small container of “me” couldn’t contain all of it.
It was powerful, but also exhausting. That’s why, when it ended, I needed to rest and be nurtured. I was hoping to surrender my body to the reliable guidance of Kripalu yoga teachers whose cups were full and who could lead me into new places in my own practice. I was hoping that I could then bring the news of those new places back to my own students. “Hey guys! Look what I found! And I can show you how to get there, too!
Instead, my trip became a cautionary tale. Here is what I learned:
I learned that to do the work I do, it is not just good to be inspired, it is absolutely essential.
I learned that the most important part of being a yoga teacher is to love your students. Swami Kripalu once said: “I have not come here to teach you; I have come here to love you. The love itself will teach you.”
I learned that this kind of “love” is not a “job.” But teaching yoga can be relegated to “job” status, but as soon as it does, it’s time to walk away from it until you can find the juice in it, the love in it, the joy in it again.
I learned to never, never, never step on the teacher’s mat unless I am full of love, and feeling “juicy.”
My teachers at Kripalu this time were burnt out. It was clear. It was unmistakable. It was sad.
I was sad for them. I was sad for me. The whole experience was pathetic and regrettable.
I learned (again) the importance of staying inspired and juicy in my life.
I learned that “There’s no place like home.”