Posted in inspiring ideas

Yoga Travel Agent

I’m feeling a little uneasy tonight.  I just got home from teaching my Monday night class, the one for advanced beginners and intermediate students, and I think I may have gone a little too far with them.

We did a practice that I poetically refer to as, “A Whole Lotta Suns With Some Other Crazy Shit Thrown In Just to Make It Interesting.”

(I think I might have to copyright this sequence, actually.)

It was hard, no question of it, but it wasn’t impossible.  I thought it was awesome, but at the end, everyone just shot out of there like bats out of hell.  Linda R.  stared at me at the end of class, (sans bliss) and I said, “What?? Sometimes you have to blow out the pipes, right?”

She continued to stare.

(oops.)

She’s usually up for anything, but that practice may have been a little too much, even for her.

I have been upping the intensity of my own practice lately, with astonishing results.  I collapse onto my mat at the end and drop into another realm of consciousness.  And that’s what I want my students to experience, too.

THAT OTHER LEVEL OF CONSCIOUSNESS.

And if there is one thing I am learning from Pranakriya Yoga it’s that you can’t get there without breaking through the usual, the normal, the comfortable, the comforting, the familiar, the easy.

But it can hurt to break through. It can be uncomfortable and disconcerting and it can raise doubts about what the hell you are doing, and what is the point.

I feel conflicted.  On the one hand I want to give my students the practice they want, the practice they love, the practice they can do, and feel a sense of accomplishment and mastery doing.

On the other hand I know it’s the uncomfortable practice, the practice that makes them struggle and sweat and feel incompetent that will facilitate the breakthrough.  But tonight  I may have pushed some of them over the edge.

It’s hard to know what to do sometimes.

It’s hard, because everyone comes to a yoga practice for a different reason.  Just because I want to reach new levels, new realms, new states of consciousness, doesn’t mean everyone wants that.

Some people just want to be able to do a decent forward bend or get their heels to the mat in Downward-facing Dog.

I get that. I support that. I really do.

But the students who have been dedicated to a practice for a number of years? Is a better asana practice all they want?  I don’t know…  Maybe it is.  Maybe I should let them tell me if they want to go deeper.  Maybe I shouldn’t assume…

One thing I do know though, is that while I can be happy teaching asana some of the time, even most of the time,  what I really want to do is facilitate travel to other realms.

I want to be a sort of travel agent, help book flights, tell students what to pack, and then see them off with a full complete breath and a Namaste.

Yeah, Yoga Travel Agent.

That’s what I want to be.

Author:

I’m a small town yoga teacher who says motherfucker a lot. I hate anything woo. I’m into neuroscience. And facts. I’ll lead the chanting of “om” sometimes, but it makes me feel awkward. I want to access flow states. As far as yoga helps me do that, I’m into it. Dopamine is my fave neurotransmitter. Don’t tell anyone I told you this.

14 thoughts on “Yoga Travel Agent

  1. Kath, I’m sorry I missed it! I love being pushed beyond my comfort zone – that’s where the learning and growing happens – and I never want to stop doing either of those! I’ll definitely be booking my next flight with you 😉

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  2. Kath, I too am sorry that I wasn’t there. You know I love a good, hard practice and you never have to ask me if I’m ready to leave my comfort zone.

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  3. I wonder if maybe people are finding the same kind of bliss you are talking about without being pushed over the edge? Is it possible that not everyone requires that kind of intensity to reach the same point?

    Michelle

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      1. On the other hand, if we are really making each class our OWN practice and doing what is right for our own self, then I’d say we are responsible for finding that edge that takes us to that special place vs. trying to keep up with what is being led for the sake of keeping up.

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  4. I’ll pack my bags and go with you any time! I LOVE your classes! The more uncomfortable and sweaty it is, the better I feel after. So, where are we going next?

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  5. Boy, do I need a vacation! I sure wish I would have been there! I like feeling like I have pushed thru the edge and am hanging on by my toes!

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  6. That is so cool. Yeah, your classes for some of us that are not in the best shape can be a little intense. But I ALWAYS love where we end up. There are other times when I just want a sweet comforting asana practice to just help release the tension and find harmony. However, the best times with you are when we are pushed even when I’m trying to breath and think is she f’in nuts, why is she doing this to me, please let it just end. And then we rest, check in with our eye pillows, and allow our pilot (Kath) to take us wherever we desire. From my personal experience I would say that your classes are balanced for the students. So what if you pressed it a little hard sometimes. We all can either try to push harder toward our edge or just continue doing what we feel comfortable with. It just sorta sucks if you can’t keep up with the rest of the class. I felt that way after my back and shoulder injury. I kinda felt embarrassed that I couldn’t do everything that everyone else was doing and therefore, I couldn’t really drop into my practice and meditate. You are the BEST Yoga teacher EVER so don’t fret to much over trying to please everyone. I’m more then grateful to have such a wonderful yoga studio and teacher. Hope to see you soon! Laura

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