Monday, January 29, 2007

Yoga Teacher Training, Day 5, Module 1

Today was such a surreal day, I almost don't know where to begin. Our class and practice focused on back bends, and Dolly warned us that sometimes back bends trigger emotional reactions. In our teaching manual, she wrote, "Moving into Back Bends requires that we expose our raw and vulnerable underbelly, the soft yin place that can leave us feeling threatened or insecure. Many deal with surges of emotion when doing powerful Back Bending, cleaning their temple of emotional debris."

I have to be honest—Dolly has told us multiple times that certain postures, like back bends and hip openers, often have deep emotional effects—but I found this really hard to believe. I'm a pretty well-adjusted person, strong of will and mind, so for me, it's ludicrous to think I might be affected emotionally (I mean deep, cathartic, gut-wrenching emotion) by doing yoga. Me, cry from doing yoga? Sounds impossible, actually.

So, we did our two-hour practice from 3:30pm to 5:30pm. Back bends galore. I loved it. I was feeling great actually being able to get my foot into the crook of my elbow and hand over the top in Dancer, even if only for a minute. It's a place I haven't been before. We took Savasana, wrapped up class, grabbed dinner, and reconvened for the last hour of class.

Finding Our Voices
Dolly had asked all of us to read The Laws of Spirit: A Tale of Transformation, and write a one page essay about the law that most resonated with us. In that last hour of class, we read our responses, and when Marge read hers, I just welled up and the tears just continued to flow through almost all the other responses I heard. Cay's response referenced my blog and my first entry about teacher training, in which I wrote that Cay is an enigma to me, and somehow that word, enigma, was a catalyst for her and she very eloquently tied it back to the Law of Integrity (Living Our Truth), I believe it was. I was so stunned, first by the fact that my initial impression of Cay was accurate (according to her!); second, that someone could connect so deeply with something I wrote—and that it could move them in a positive direction; and finally, that someone would think and say the very kind things Cay wrote about me in her response. I loved hearing Cay's realization—I was happy and flattered, and again, feeling Cay's emotion as well as my own.

Then Amber read her response, and she's such a bright, gentle soul, with a purity that's so rare these days, that of course, I was deeply touched by her words as well. She's like a little bird that you just want to take under your wing and protect, not because she isn't strong on her own, but because she has this aura of innocence...I can't really put my finger on exactly what it is. But she just radiates light.

When Greg sat down to respond, his writer's block suddenly lifted after many years, he told us, and so he wrote a story that just captivated us all. He is a very talented writer—I really hope he keeps at it because the world needs words like his out there. As Greg read, I wept, not only because of the eloquence of his writing, but because he wove a story so deeply entrenched in his own emotion and grace that I almost felt like I was inside his heart as he read it. I think he's very close to finding his purpose, perfect and right.

Never Say Never
To close class, Dolly asked us to come into a circle and join hands. As we sat there, with hands linked and our eyes closed, Dolly asked us to breathe in the love and energy of the person on our left and send it through our hearts to the person on the right. We did this for a couple minutes, perhaps, and as I breathed in and out, imagining Greg's energy on my left flowing in through my heart to Lauren on my right, I hit a wave of emotion that was rising to a crescendo with every breath. I was on the verge of sobbing, weeping steadily, because the more I breathed in, the harder it became to breathe. It was almost like I was so full of everyone's energy that there was no more room for my own breath. I know this sounds out there, but if you know me, you know that I am a very grounded person. When I say that this was a real and profound experience, I am dead serious. I've never felt anything like it before in my life.

So...me, cry from doing yoga? Uh, yeah, absolutely. It took a couple hours, but the back bends turned on a faucet in me that is still dripping ever so slightly even as I write. I wept half the time I was driving home. It's crazy, so crazy, and I swear I sound like one of those "out there" people, but you know what? That's OK. I know what I felt, what I feel, and I'm OK with that. I feel good.

No comments: