Friday, April 15, 2011

Today in class: blew my fuse!

I blew my fuse:( And fell flat on my face:(

Morning class only Sonia was there: we did a very soothing practice together. Held the leg lifts for 15 minutes in all. That is always a fantastic  high. This despite the fact I  had not slept much last night, and toppled over in the sun salute once, then fell over in the scorpion twice while showing Sonia:)  I am violently PMSing, plus dizzy with lack of sleep.  But we hold the rest of the poses well and long. And Sonia and I are happy.  Then, as an aside I tell her, next year I will start my own center, when I hope to stop feeling jostled or drained by teaching. Then I add, again as an aside which I normally never share with students, that  the next class at 8.45 am,  it really jostles me up! Some days, that sort of a class can be really tough.. She nods -- she has been with me for over two years now, and she knows ... So already I am bracing myself for the class :)
All of last week (actually last month) I am thinking that I need to change my approach in teaching -- involute more, be less fussy over mistakes or corrections (let them do keeping doing it,  what the heck), show an advanced  pose once and leave them to follow or drop back. Why do I go on prodding, pushing, using tactics I think will work to help them progress on the mat. . Even at my ashram they don't do that.. or at the centers... Why I am such a push-over? I even discuss this with my music teacher, that I wish to stop being this way... drained by own mistaken sense of integrity...I tell her I am now in a very vulnerable stage in my own practice, and actually need to involute and withdraw and instead I am constantly required to extrovert, project and exude... and this constant extroversion is so demanding... I actually want to be in a long retreat, meditating.. what am I doing here, teaching?  I discuss this my Muay Thai teacher too... what I must need to change in my approach ... As I said,  this trigger started last month itself...
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Last month, I corrected one of the weakest girls in my class who has a physical problem.  She snaps at me!! I am appalled.. she does it when nobody else, whom she admires (every class has that sort of connections:) is there in the class and when she is alone with me...... There is something inherently nasty about that.. So I started wondering last month itself .. why do I correct her? I correct her because I believe if she gets the form right she won't have the physical problem she is suffering from. I can, instead just like the rest of the yoga teacher clan,  ignore her in class, let her fumble about and let her remain within her illness, to which she seems attached. Obviously she does not see it that way!!  Plus she possibly believes I am talking down to her!!  While I think she is being a certified ingrate, she thinks I am a boor and a bore!! This is terrible, both ways! Obviously I think I am giving and sharing, and she thinks I am bullying! This thought is now looming over me, and then another things happen fast, and in succession ...Last month, again, I give the fee back to one student, after he is with me for two weeks or so, and  inform him I cannot teach him. I don't explain to him that was because he  was jarring me in the class. Though I never got to lose my temper with him, he provoked me so often that I was appalled at myself... since I could not take that sort of constant provocation, I informed him he did not fit in my way of teaching. ... I have done that to three other students in the past. I have always agonised before taking that terrible decision .. but I realise I am not so evolved ... But sometimes, I really wish I was teaching yoga for all the commercial reasons, and did not see teaching  as part or extension of my own sadhana..

But even Prahlada, who is one of the most giving teachers I have seen and the best asana teacher there ever was, will not talk to students before a class. He will be on his seat, centered on leading it...He will enter a class when all are settled. All the talk with him, and he is generous that way, is usually after the class... I can see the sense in that now:)

So, any case, this morning this girl who is rather devoted to yoga, comes and says something possibly innocuous that completely needles me...Since I was all nicely trussed up, with that  the pile-up of last month's and this week's agony, the whole thing explodes into my face.  I raise my voice, completely and irrevocably having lost my temper.  Other students are piling in, and for me, this is a special hell, to jolt them that way before a yoga class. My temper should not interfere with their practice...There is a child in that class, a school -kid, wonder-eyed at the yoga teacher behaving least like a yoga teacher!! It makes me even more restless that I allowed all this to happen. My anger has shifted from the provocation and turned itself on myself!  I am mostly forgiving of others. But I find I can be very unforgiving with myself. And I am really pissed with myself -- It is a collective anger at myself that questions my style of teaching, my inablity to resist provocation and a lot of other things that I told u that I had been agonsing for over the last one month.
 I had actually started my morning telling myself that I will renounce the sense of teaching... and here I have proved that I have miles to go... and it bothers me that I have strange sense of teaching that is truly and possibly egotistic  ...Click to get cool Animations for your MySpace profile
Free MySpace Animations! So I end up doing do this morning class, which I had any case started by bracing myself (remember what I told Sonia?)  with mild errors in the sun salute ... I am teary and angry in turns during the rest class... And this is the first time, in all the years I have taught, that I was left feeling that way for an entire class:( 

In a way I like such moments.. because they show me up, to myself... that I have to learn what I preach. Imagine, "lecturing" (and yes, S, I must tone that down:) and talking down to people, about mind-control, then fall ridiculously flat on my face that way!! Really humbled me!! Truly!!   Then, that reminder that   my sadhana and personal practice  has to become even more  stronger than it is now currently, to help me maintain the balance between what I teach and what I actually am.  
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I like that unforgiving, relentless agony of that moment as it sears into me (not the student's words, but my own idiotic, out-of-control behavior) because in that, like with the thralls of birthing, something will fall into place...  I will wait that moment...

But my mind has not thrown up an answer, yet... :(

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