Wednesday, February 03, 2016
Gulp that frog!
Yesterday I met a friend, a yogini and we talked about our yoga teachers during the last decade. We realized a pattern. Every time when we studied with a new teacher we were enthusiastic. This is my teacher now for the eternity (at least for the next decade), I thought. Yet after a year or two the strength and the weaknesses of each teacher and the teaching couldn't be overlooked anymore.
This has been always that way. When I hear what B.K.S. Iyengar tells about his teacher Krichnamacharya, it's not only good stuff. He talks about serious injuries. He was forced to do split poses for spectators and he had never done these poses before, i.e..
Also P. Jois, whose teacher was also Krichanamacharya had horrible stories to tell. He could show scars that happened during yoga shows, when P. Jois had to perform asanas too long on an inappropriate floor with stones.
Each time when I thought that I've leanred everything from a teacher that I could learn, a new teacher came in town. My practice leaped ahead first. Yet the pattern went on. I learned a lot, but every teaching had parts that were even dangerous for my body.
Because this issue is so old like humanity, the wise yogis of the past found a solution. It's self-study.
'Study what the teacher say,' I read somewhere. This tranlates: experiment with it, find out if it's true. Does it fit to me? Is my body able to integrate this movement. Is there any pain ? What are the tiny steps to learn something....
The teaching can only be a pointer.
Every teacher has a personality. Some are detail oriented, some are serious, others are very ambitious. There are also relaxed ones and so on. This influences the teaching and also the relationship to the students. It can fit very well, it can also create friction if the personalities of student and teacher are not matching.
The yoga experience of the teacher vary a lot.
Someone can be an advanced yogi/yogini, but a lousy teacher and the other way round is true, too.
My view in terms of people (teacher and studends included) is that everybody gives always the best at any given moment, also when it doesn't seem so.
It's easy to go to yoga classes every morning.
It's easy to blame the teaching for being able or being not able to perform asanas or vinyasas. Yet this is not a solution of the described issues.
It's so easy today to get all sort of information for free via the Internet. One day it's time to take responsibility of the own practice. In the beginning of all learning a lot of help and support and teaching is necessary, but after years of learning, one must become independant from this support.
One must learn to learn. This doesn't necessarily mean not to go to yoga classes or workshops, yet more and more the student of yoga must learn to walk by herself, to stand on her own legs.
Finally the student of yoga has to walk his/her path alone.
Self-practice must become part of the path. This is the frog to gulp.
Picture: Leg behind head poses are difficult because of my aching SI. So I practice marichyasana A instead.