It's necessary to nurture yourself and your own practice in order to better service your students. I was told by my mentor that I need to mediate one hour per class that I teach a week. That means that I should be mediating a whopping 9 hours a week! I'm falling miserably short, and I always seem to fabricate an excuse or say, "Well 30 minutes was enough for today!" We make time for things (or people) that are important. Ditch the excuses, roll out the mat, go to YogaGlo or simply set a alarm in the middle of day to allow some quiet time free of distractions in a quiet corner of your office.
Sometimes you lay everything you have on the mat for your class and might get one smile or a few thanks yous. Conversely, the same class on a different day might have people gushing about how excellent it was. Taking it a step further, you might finish teaching and think, Wow that was terrible, and then half the pupils are lined up to say how much something in that class spoke to them or made them immensely happy/sweaty/joyful.
Eliminate the Ego from all equations and you will be a happier and more well rounded teacher. It doesn't matter if you have 3 students or 30.... It isn't about YOU, it's about the yoga. You are simply a vehicle passing on knowledge, and it's up to the student to figure out what to do with it.
I don't know about you, but I'm a firm believer in chiropractors. Each to their own, I know, we all have our certain preferred methods of healing. Some swear by Ayurvedic medicine, others modern medicine, acupuncture, the list goes on. But if you ask me, I think chiros are the coolest thing since sliced bread, I simply adore them.
The first time I ever went to a chiropractor I was 4 years old and I had severely strained my neck.
I remember being in complete distress, normally so active and rambunctious, I couldn't move my neck to the left or the right more than a few degrees. My parents took me to see their chiro in Oakland. I was nervous beyond belief.
I timidly hopped on the table while he poked and prodded my upper body, accessing the problem as gently as he could. I didn't like him twisting my head and the only remedy at the time they could come up with were dangling stickers before me. I was a sucker for them, and once me held them in front of me, a little to the right, I glanced in their direction and BAM, he had adjusted my neck in one fell swoop.
Cheeky devil! The second side was a bit of a war because then I knew EXACTLY what was coming. Before I knew it, I was fixed. I remember walking out of the office triumphantly, parading to the car admiring my stickers, a trophy for being "such a brave girl."
I have gone to a chiro ever since. I usually go for maintenance or if I have a particular problem that I need addressed. When I found out we were moving Down Under, I hoped and prayed that I could find a good chiro that I trusted. Lucky for me, I did find one who did an excellent job and was local to boot.
After my first adjustment and assessment he recommended an XRAY, and I thought, "Why on earth would I need one of those?" From what he could see, I'm losing the curve of my cervical spine. Dread, fear, anxiety- (all of the above really) started rising up to the surface..... But I'm a YOGA TEACHER, I need to be able to move my body. I'm only 30, what am I going to go when I'm OLD? Arthritic neck... no way. Can't it be fixed? Will I ever do a headstand again...?
Since I don't like CT Scans, MRI's or XRAYS, I opted out of a voluntarily dose of radiation. I need to do stretches to loosen the muscles above my collar bones to avoid them from pulling my neck forward. I simply need to roll a towel, place it under my neck and gently hang my head off the the edge of my bed for a few minutes a day.
I'll keep stretching, loosening and lengthening my body as best I can. Yoga is therapeutic and can help fix a myriad of ailments, this I know. I just hope that I'll be able to fix or alleviate this problem and prevent a very painful future of having an arthritic neck.
This is the quote that I opened my Sunday night Restorative Yoga class with last week.
I always read my quotes out loud to my students, twice, while their eyes are closed and they are in a comfortable position whether it be prone or supine. The first time they listen to my voice and what I say, the second time they listen for the meaning (at least that's what I hope happens).
I tried to keep it relatively simple by asking, "Do you feed the Ego, or the Spirit? If you had to categorize yourself, would you lean more towards the spectrum of the Ego or the Spirit? Are you waiting for peace to come to you or do you actively seek peace first and foremost?"
Something to think about...
Yo, I'm Erica
I'm Erica: a globe trotting Pinterest addict, sushi enthusiast, craft beer drinker, yogini, wife and mum.... not in that order.