On Tuesday evening after class, I felt tired and like the class was hard work. I was a little surprised and bummed by the challenge of it simply because I wanted it to be a little smoother. However, it probably wasn't as bad as I thought it was. It was certainly a mixed bunch. I had returning students, brand new students and those with some physical and visual challenges. In general, it just felt like the students were in a funny place, like everyone was having a hard time being there, listening, and understanding. It felt like the heat had sucked the life out of folks and the heaviness of the heat made everyone lethargic and dull. I think by the end it turned out okay but I didn't leave feeling that way.... I think it just happens that way sometimes and I am learning to roll with it and learning to let it go.
The next morning, Wednesday, I went to teach a class at Anjali and it went quite differently. Of course, I only had one sweet soul come but it was a really good experience for us both. I began by asking her what she would like to work on or what she would like to have a better understanding of as far as the practice was concerned. I found out this student has MS and has been living with MS for over 20 years. We worked on balance per her request. During that hour and half of working together I saw her experience of certain balancing poses shift. She went from a place of frustration to elation. I gave her a few suggestions to help and those minor adjustments that she made changed her experience of the pose. I could see on her face a sincere look of surprise and of delight at having just done a certain pose in a way she did not think was possible for her to do the pose or poses. It really was a lovely opportunity for me to not only learn from her how I could best help but also a gift to share in that shift.
I left that class on Wednesday morning feeling quite happy and grateful for that opportunity to work one on one with a student. I left class feeling that I was able to really help and that just trusting the knowledge that I do have and trusting my intuition can go a long way toward helping someone feel better in their body, mind and heart. Ultimately, I think we both left feeling better about who we are, where we are at, and what we have to offer.
Tucson is full of great teachers and with individuals who have many years of experience and, truthfully, sometimes this can be intimidating and overwhelming for me. I think I am just scratching the surface. I love that there is so much to learn because I thrive on that. Working with that student on Wednesday made me realize that being a good teacher is not so much about how much you know or how many years you've put in but about how well you relate to others and about using what you know in a way that is truly helpful. Of course, that is not to say that the years of time and experience aren't helpful because they are. However, there is some ancient wisdom that lives within us all and it is possible to tap into that. When we tap into that place of guidance and inner knowing, we are touching upon Grace or, maybe, Grace is touching us.
Trust and Understanding,