The Mat at the Front of the Room

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One of my motivations for moving to Granada and living/teaching at a yoga studio was to teach more yoga.  Despite the fact that I’ve been teaching for a little more than two years now (a fact that still astounds me), I very much feel like a new teacher.  I stutter my words sometimes as I’m describing which limb to extend, confuse left side with right, and wonder whether the sequences I create are bringing the most benefit to the students in the room.  At home in Austin, even though it felt like I was living, breathing, eating, sleeping yoga, I was only teaching two classes a week.   Those classes were my islands.  In those 150 minutes, I would reconnect with the mysteries of yoga, the infinite nature of the breath, and the stillness of bodies in motion.  I yearned to teach more, but the realities of managing a yoga studio meant there was only so much time available for stepping into the role of teacher.

Now that I’m settling into my life and teaching schedule in Granada, I find myself teaching six classes weekly.  Each class is a joy, allowing me to delve deeper into my own practice as I explore different facets of yoga as if I were spinning a polished stone on a sunny day.  Only one person was present at my first class here at Pure.  As we centered for my first time teaching in Granada, I gave thanks for the opportunity to share this gift of yoga, and the opportunity to continue learning from the seat of the teacher.  As my first private yoga class began, I found in myself the ability to step out of the way and let the yoga flow through.  Before I knew it, I was in danger of going over time and I felt I’d just barely begun to scratch the service of applying the ancient art of yoga to the individual sitting in front of me.  Each class since has been a slow build on that theme.  I’m finding myself able to apply my training almost effortlessly, adapting asanas to the bodies in front of me and changing sequences to accommodate the needs of the students in the room.  I feel that I’m able to connect with Spirit in a new and powerful way, as I’m able to articulate the infinite ways to bring the practice of yoga into the everyday, finding the spiritual in the mundane, dropping into the infinite river of the breath and allowing that plunge to bring you deeper into the present moment.  And oh my gosh — all the beauty that’s in that present moment!

Outside of the classroom, I find myself able to breathe more, fully expanding my lungs and taking in the humid Central American air.  I’m pushing my ego to the side here with each exhale, allowing language to flow through me and around me, making new connections from all over the world, eyes and hearts reflecting and growing.

One worry of mine prior to moving here was that I would miss the sustenance of being able to jump into other teachers’ yoga classes for inspiration and extra quieting of the mind.  How lucky to find that as I create the space for my own practice, the ability to connect with an infinite well of ideas and inspiration springs up, wisdom hiding just beneath the skin, tapped by tuning in to the breath.  The deepening of my own practice combined with the inspiring conversations I continue to have with the other yogis and trainers here on staff mean that I won’t run out of ideas any time soon.  No yoga block for this yogin!  Instead I feel that I’m plugging in to an ocean of energy flowing underneath my feet, gaining so much more than knowledge — gaining a real sense of being of the world – not just in the world.

I sit now quietly, having just finished my second week of teaching here at Pure.  I continue to stay present and feel gratitude for this opportunity.  Two days off from teaching means two days of diving into planning my first weekend workshop and two days of playing with asana and language and the amazing intersection between the two!

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