3 years ago today I was in a car accident. Which was the 4th of a series in 10 years. No wonder my chest has felt as though it was caving in the last 2 weeks. It seems as though we hold onto emotion more than we may think. Especially when the emotion is tied to a stressful event like assessment. It is so crazy to think that it took me 2 weeks to figure out why my neck was tight, why I could not breath, why I had no patience with those whom I typically has limitless patience. As I type this now, I am not really sad or emotional. I actually feel a sort of release, a balance of emotions from the inside out.
In the last 3 years, I have gotten married, passed my first assessment, changed jobs, gotten a puppy and am now getting ready to take my 2nd assessment in 5 weeks. If someone would have told me all this would happen in 3 years I would never have believed them. This assessment process is pretty amazing. At first when you start it you think to yourself, "Really?! You want me to do what? You think I did that wrong? I need to improve my observation skills? Who the heck to you think you are telling me how to fix myself, my practice, my teaching?" So many emotions are brought up by this process. As it goes on, you begin to take the critics in such a way that it no longer feels like a war against you and the critics. It actually does make you a better teacher. At some point you get to the breaking point, which is where i was 2 days ago, and you are so bewildered. You are not even sure if you can do anything right, then......the light comes in the form of someone called Manouso? Huh? Really. Manouso. For years I have been frightened of this man. Not just the man himself, but the other people that go along with it all. One more time, if you would have told me 3 years ago I would enjoy an entire weekend taught by Manouso I would have begged to differ. But listen people, it was incredible. Not just the teaching itself, but the effect that it had on the mind, the body, the community. Maybe it is not just him that has softened, but me who has changed.
This light we can call Sattva, Illuminosity. Bright white light that makes you feel as thought you could sit and just be, or you could run a marathon (or clean your house for 5 hours. That is the path I chose.... cause' you know I like a clean floor:-)) Back to the assessment stuff now.
At first glance in the IYNAUS Assessment Manuel, you might think that it is by chance someone came up with all this required knowledge, required reading, and the list of poses. But take a closer look, go through the process and be prepared to be dazzled. Well, maybe not dazzled, but you get my drift. It is as though they really thought this through as to what the sadhadka (student) was going to be going through each and every step of the way. Even up to the terms. Abyasa and Vairagya. Abyasa is the dedicated study of a subject no matter what, even after repeated failure for long indefinite periods of time. Vairagya is the cultivation of freedom from passion and worldly desires. Listen, I know what you are thinking. What else do I have to give up? I already gave up most things I love.......drinking, eating fried food, most sugar, even meat, dairy, gluten. (I have not given up any, just a very moderate amount folks, just proving a point). No, it is not about that stuff. It is about your mind and how you move around this earth with other people on it. It is about having compassion and patience for those who need it and creating boundaries with those who have none. It is about doing the yoga, then practicing the yoga, then living the yoga. I am still in between the first two.
So all in all, I am saying that after 4 years of this assessment preparation I have truly learned to that I have a long way to go, but if I keep at this Abyasa and Vairagya, maybe I will be even closer to what we all long for. To be close to knowing who we are as a human, a friend, a lover, a daughter, a teacher.
Thats all for now!
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
So, this is a picture of Ardyce. She is on a senior Colorado softball team ages 65 plus. This past weekend she pitched 8 games and they came in second at the western nationals. This event is for teams all across the USA. We are so proud of her! I can only hope I'm still rockin' it like that in a few decades!