Sunday, October 17, 2010

Learning to let go (Week 4)

Week four started and ended with Triangle. Trikanasana, or Triangle Pose, is the pinnacle of the standing series and also comes at the halfway point in the 90-minute Bikram Yoga class.

As I mentioned last week, my homework was to deliver Standing Bow Pulling Pose while performing Triangle, which I did on Monday. I belted out the dialogue without missing a beat and was praised by my evaluators for pulling the whole thing off while still watching the bodies in front of me. I was given more karma homework after that.

Here I am delivering Standing Bow Pulling Pose while in Triangle.
I delivered Triangle Pose on Friday afternoon, which means I'm officially halfway through the dialogue. There are still another 16 postures in the series, but those that follow are much shorter. We're descending the mountain!

Feedback on my delivery of Balancing Stick, Standing Separate Leg Stretching, and Triangle has been consistent: I need to let more of my personality come through. I'm holding back and not giving it everything I have. Last night I had an "Ah-ha" moment when it finally occurred to me what I need to do differently. Up to this point, I've delivered the dialogue verbatim and haven't fumbled even when distractions or challenges have been thrown my way. So I thought I was rocking it. Dom Emley, who led our Friday evening yoga class, taught with so much passion that he inspired all of us to give 150%. That's when I realized that I don't need to be perfect, I need to be passionate!

When I think back, the classes I've enjoyed most over the two years I've been doing this yoga have been taught by teachers who have had genuine passion and enthusiasm for teaching. Many don't say the dialogue verbatim and instead inject their own voice and personality into the class. If I want my students to work hard and actually look forward to coming to yoga, I need to follow this example.

So my goal for week five is to let go and allow my true self to come out. It's actually a lot harder than you'd think, well for me anyway. All my life I've been super competitive and a perfectionist. I need to abandon these tendencies, at least when I'm teaching Bikram Yoga. I'm also realizing that my strive to be perfect is taking the fun out of posture clinics and will eventually burn me out. Diane Ducharme, a senior Bikram Yoga teacher, asked us the following question: "Do you want to be a perfect teacher or do you want to be a great teacher?" I think I know the answer to that one.

Bikram was away again this week and so we had Dr. P for anatomy lectures every evening. We went through a whole bunch of systems: cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and endocrine. Lots and lots of information, but Dr. P was able to hold my attention the entire time. I took pages and pages of notes, which I'll need to review before Monday's final exam.

Speaking of Monday, Bikram will be making his triumph return and will be staying with us until the end of training. This means many, many late nights. The one thing I've enjoyed over the past two weeks is feeling healthy and alert enough to participate in everything going on around me. I've actually felt like I have a firm handle on this training thing. I'll be singing a different tune this week, as the late nights are extremely taxing. So in addition to letting go and being myself, I need to go with the flow and trust the process. Lots of challenges to work through this week. But like the saying goes, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And that's why I'm here!

Bring on week five!

1 comment:

  1. oh you're sooo going to let your personality shine through while killing us in class when you come back as a teacher! 60-full-second triangles here they come, eeeek!

    sending you good BYC vibes!