Thursday, October 23, 2008

My philosophy and teaching style (part 8)

My students at Nirmaya are able to be on auto pilot mode, (i.e. needing no real instructions from me) and they know what their bodies want and need, I only help them see it better. They know how to transit from one pose to another, offering their practice to the higher self. They need not rely on my instructions 100%, and I let them fly, in this way, to spread their wings and take flight. In fear of sounding too cliche, I must say that they did not start out like that. They started as beginners, and from there, their practice evolved.

They listen to their body's energies and go with that flow, they need not much of external correction has I teach them self internal correction, how to go beyond the physical, but to listen to the feeling inside, of what feels good and what feels right. They will seek out an internal correction to go deeper into a pose, to use the organic energy within them, i.e. energetically lifting the sternum. Of course a certain amount of muscular energy is used to sustain the posture. Two students may be doing the same posture, but when one is doing internal correction, he will feel stronger, steadier, more receptive and definitely more centered. He will find an equilibrium between the body and breath. In my opinion, an asana should be held with the least amount of effort and energy to achieve "perfection", because only then would you be breathing fully and correctly. I always say, if you can't breathe, you shouldn't be in that posture.

Speaking of breath, I was not well about a month ago, and even myself as a teacher and practicing yogi, I realised that only in times of illness, only do we realise how precious the breath is. I was having a mild flu, and within that 7 days of the flu rising and subsiding, I was struggling to take my usual breaths, let alone deep breaths. I was humbled by a mere simple flu. I have to admit, I myself, was surprised at how tremendously important the breath became. But when we are fit and well, we never bother about the breath. Just like how we mistreat the body and never notice the tell tale signs of disease until it's too late. Or maybe I'm getting way ahead of myself. My point is that we should never take the breath for granted, it may go out, but who knows if it will come back? Each breath you take is a risk, as Osho says. So don't tell me you have never risked anything in your life before. What a pun, isn't it? In some way, having my flu taught me how to appreciate the gift of life, the ability to feel healthy, to be thankful towards my family and friends and for all that I have.

I take a few more moments of your time-space to share with you my experience of something deeper, about 6 weeks ago. I got up the next morning, and wrote it down.

"I settle in, and listen to my heartbeat, it's loud enough to be heard by only me. I let my body settle, and just as I begin to relax, my hand jerks for no particular reason, stirring me. Stretching out a little further to point my left toes, I feel the dynamic tension stringing all the way diagonally across my right arm. Odd. A certain feeling of rest and awareness present at the same time. I listen to my heartbeat again. Then my leg jerks once, as though shaking off a bug. I relax a little deeper, and my awareness is heightened, like an eagle perched high over the cliff watching it's prey, but nobody will be sacrificed today. I continue to watch my inner thoughts, and some answers are made crystal clear to me. The awareness continues to grow, it scares me, but I let it. Every movement I make is an offering toward my consciousness, adding on to the heightened perception of my mind's eye, which is by now so very awake, I am relaxed, but extremely aware of a feeling inside me, an aliveness I have never ever felt before. It scares me. As I try and put a texture to it now, recalling now, I can't. It has no form. I am completely awake in relaxation. I don't know how else to describe it. My passing thoughts settle for a moment on the stranger I had met earlier. I let it pass. But what really freaks me is, the sound of a motorcycle honk, I heard it come as though it was from a distance, the sound of the honk being "pulled", or slowed as though it was going through a semi-permeable medium of some sort, and taking it's time to reach my senses. The sound was slowed down. I feel light headed, slightly worried almost. I turn my head to the left to rest against the soft cotton fabric, and as my ear touches the pillow, I hear the friction of skin against fabric, again, in slow motion, even while it's happening. I drift in and out of this state for the rest of the night".

That's all for now,

Lots of light and love,

Namaste.