Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Pushing My Edge

I love that moment inside a yoga posture where you don't think you can go any further, you inhale, you exhale and suddenly you are there: past the edge. One of my yoga teachers calls this the "aha moment" because the breath, the movement and the posture click - it's eureka. During yoga classes, students are often told to push the edge; to go just a little further than they think is possible to find what is on the other side of the resistance to fully surrender into the posture. That resistance could be physical (tight hamstrings will make a forward bend more of a forward lean) or it could be mental (fear of falling would leave a student flat on her back rather than in headstand).

I've been stuck on my own yoga edge for the last couple of months. In October, I did a weekend training class to start the process of becoming a certified yoga teacher. In order to complete the first round, I must complete 12 hours of volunteer yoga teach. This has stumped me. Where am I going to find a group of people who want to practice yoga and are willing to do it with an untrained teacher? Not only am I mentally blocked, I have forced myself into a physical one as well. Faced with this roadblock, I slowed down my own yoga process, which has made me less confident in my ability to not only teach, but to have a serious practice.

Tonight at yoga class, though, something clicked. I was again facing my edge. And I found that, yes, I've lost some strength. Yes, it's going to take me a few weeks to ramp back up to my former practice. But, I discovered (during 20 breaths of fan posture) that not only is teaching yoga something I still want to pursue, but it is something I know I can do. So after class, I swallowed my own fear and apprehension to ask the teacher for volunteer suggestions. Conveniently enough she had just been asked to teach a group of teachers at a school, but wouldn't be able to do it. She will pass the info on to me. She also mentioned a couple of the classes might be opening up at the gym and it would be a great time for me to fill out an application. Serendipity. Edge, it's nice to see you again.


Robert Hogan said...

My mother-in-law is this close to finishing her classes to become a yoga teacher, and her practice classes have feature myself and my wife. Couldn't hurt to round up some friends.

E Hoard said...

I'd volunteer to be a guinea pig.

Also, see this post from the ColumbusING blog about the possibility of outdoor yoga: