Monday, September 6, 2010

Intentions and Actions

Every time I show up on the yoga mat, I have every intention of exploring myself and my understandings through yoga. Much of what I know has been learned over time either from teachers, or through direct observation and inquiry. I learn from my students as well, which makes teaching that much more rewarding. Lately I've rarely been able to attend classes taught by other teachers. Some of this is due to my schedule, some is the expense of taking classes, some is due to diverging approaches to practice.

My own practice evolved with every teacher I encountered in those first few years of practice. I was lucky to meet many earnest young teachers from many different yogic schools. Most were very generous with their knowledge and their interests. After my certification to teach at Kripalu, I was deeply curious about many aspects of yoga as they became more and more accessible or visible to me. Now, just as I did then, I am drawn to the teachings of others who have come by various paths and am tremendously curious about their approaches, the different pathways and encouragements to understanding what is all one... the breath, the present moment, the body, the mind, and the vastness beyond the mind, in other words, yoga!

So, I have decided to commit myself to two class cards and use them up within approximately six weeks at two different Manhattan yoga studios. Each has a signature style, well known originators, an eclectic merging of traditional spiritual practices with more contemporary physical tendencies towards motion and music. Both have integrated Buddhist and Hindu devotional undercurrents. Both will challenge me to open my heart and take in a new depth to my own practice. I've chosen these two to begin, but there are definitely others that are also calling to me! We'll see how this goes with my own teaching schedule, elder care travels, weekends upstate, family and other work responsibilities.

It can't help but infuse my personal practice with a variety of currents, energy, curiosity and confusion. This is all good. It is the experience and exploration that intrigues me. And I just know it will seep into my teaching, as I cultivate my own awareness. Around mid-October I'll evaluate the effect of these external influences. I may continue to develop relationships with these two studios, but I may take up a couple other studios that integrate these same aspects with a different style.

Thanks to my treasured blog friends who have so courageously been describing their practices and their struggles, their defining moments and their mechanisms of finding their way. What an inspiration they are. I am beginning to feel excited, as well as a little bit anxious, about taking my intentions into action. Even the "little bit anxious" part feels to me as growth.

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