Wednesday, June 01, 2011

My student Sarah Windover, leaving -- to grow more....

Amongst all my students who aspire to be instructors, I vote for Sarah as one of my favorites .. She is immensely dedicated and focused on her love for yoga. In class, she is involuted, yet connecting. Some people involute but project the dont-touch-me attitude. Some others  connect, only  to distract other students from performing!  Both are subtly disturbing to an instructor!!   But with her, u can sense she has nothing against you if she does not talk, it is just that yoga practice/class is her me-time, and she wants to be there, with herself:)
Also, she has her opinions, I am sure, about my style, but she does not project it as a criticism against me.. which sometimes I can sense from some others, when I prod them out of their comfort zone:)  If I give her a scientific explanation to why I am pushing her to do something (fast surya namaskars for instance, which was an issue with her, when she started since like most serious practitioners she likes it slow-paced)  she will accept it, and try her best to fit in, and actually work around her issue with that, and step right into the zone.. This is very very tough for many people. As an instructor, often my entire energy gets diverted trying to prod and move people into certain things, not because it is convenient for me (it is far easier for me, not to do that, if u actually apply your mind to it you will appreciate that:) but because it is the best, I believe, for that person. So, she conceded me my attempts and my half-baked gyan talk:)  And that is huge, in a student. The way I see it Sarah (since I know u are reading this) is that you are earning yourself great karma points as an instructor!! And you will get cooperative students who will trust their yoga teacher...
I recall that she got the headstand in just three sessions or so when she started with me a few months ago. Her crow was very strong, but she picked up the arm balance variations easily. But her preference has been for returning to the basic poses, which I appreciate a lot -- this ability for perfection in the basic poses and ability to pick up new things, on first attempt.
Today was her last class with me. So we did the astavakrasana (first attempt, she got it!), lotus in headstand (also got that!), twists in lotus in the headstand (also that!),  grivasana ... And the one-legged chain pose, which is a rather tough pose (but which, btw, Prathana,  my student,  can do very well!!). I had not known that she was leaving, or else I would have showed her the other poses that thrill me... She is shifting out of Mumbai, to Goa, where she will be training to be an instructor.

Since she was leaving, we said the usual sweet things to each other. So, I said this to her, and repeating it, that I learnt a lot from her...  the depth she bought to each pose. The involution of mind in each pose.  The steadiness. The grounded approach. The non-interfering connection with the others in a team....
But most importantly, softness, definitely, that is also very strong.

Best of luck dear.. May the Sadguru's grace be with you:... Om!

5 comments:

Rod Windover said...

Sarah has told me a great deal about how much she has profited from her yoga practice in Mumbai, and especially from you as her instructor. When she is home (her other home here in Canada) she and I practice yoga together. It is a tie that binds us together. Our practice allows us to explore ourselves, our minds and bodies seperately, but in such a way that we can share the experience. She has told me that she will miss you. I wish her the best in her path of continued learning and practice. Thank you for guiding and assisting her. PS She was also very good when we did boxing training together as well. Best wishes, Sarah's loving dad.

sonia said...

way to go Sarah!! all the best :)

love
sonia

Shameem Akthar said...

Rod, that was a sweet note and thanks so much for sharing ... I can sense that Sarah's great yoga attitude comes from u:)
She will make a great teacher, and she will have you to thank for that, for sure...
Wish you a great and sustained sadhana

(I also box, btw... Muay thai:)

Shameem Akthar said...

And hey, Sonia, u will make a great instructor too, dear. The attitude is all...

Sarah said...

Thanks guys :-)