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.
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.