I stand in front of a class everyday, or almost everyday, and wonder why anyone would choose to listen to what I say. Its like playing Simon Says…and I’m Simon, and even scratching my nose becomes something to imitate. Its a pretty intimidating place to be, when all of your actions and movements are something to be copied.
uh….no, please don’t stand bend like that, it looks painful…
It doesn’t matter how many times I say ‘please bend your knee in this asana, it will help straighten the spine.’ Someone always wants their body to stretch the same way as mine, or their neighbor, or that really cool acrobat in Cirque Du Soleil. And there they stand, awkwardly stretching themselves forward, their shoulders curled, their chin reaching desperately foward, their belly caved in. Ouch! It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t feel good, it isn’t doing ANYONE any good. Ease off and breathe. That is what it is all about.
Now I don’t stretch to my full length as I instruct, I stretch only as much as the least flexible person in that class. I wobble incessantly during a balancing pose (and sometimes without even trying) and I loudly announce all the strange sounds my bones and muscles make while I move through an asana. I’m not perfect, okay, I don’t have the ideal form, and possibly I never will. But I sure do feel good, and I smile a whole lot more than so many others I know. And if you can do that, smile, I mean….then you’ve got good form. Perfect form, in fact. Its the smile that’ll give you away as a true yogi or yogini.
I have perhaps wandered along different streams and paths, but I’m on the same journey as the rest of the world. So don’t copy my form, don’t try to look like me, just listen to my words. In my words I share the wisdom of all my teachers and gurus and guides.
Journey on…just don’t let it pain!