Tuesday, September 30, 2008

it's not the heat, it's the humility

Long effin' day. Started with practice, courtesy of an amazing guest teacher. Only five of us this morning. I felt a touch sad for our visitor, but she showed no signs of doubt as she taught. I loved the class... almost needed that new energy, the new corrections and suggestions.

It must be hard for us Bikram teachers to travel and teach. Despite Mr. Choudhury's best efforts, no two studios are exactly alike. Every one has different tricks and techniques to manage the room temperature. Our visitor had taught for us before, so she knew about our stove and our fan. She handled the room with utmost grace, but never once touched the stove. I made it through to rabbit pose before the thought of heat entered my own mind. I plugged away as usual, since at this point I realize I have no control over the temperature. No one else struggled or stumbled; even the one student in class with an injury did what she could with no faltering. After class, and a rest in savasana, I let my curiosity get the best of me: I checked our thermostat. 112 degrees. No effin' joke.

I so wished my struggling student who aired his grievance was in class today. Not only did no one refer to the heat in the room, they all left with huge smiles on their faces, heaping our visitor with effusive praise for her excellent class.

What a difference a strong practice makes.

Taught this evening as well. For whatever reason each class today had scant attendance. Nine students in my class. Not bad for 6:30 in the evening. Again, another hot class, as we still had the residual heat from the previous class. I didn't even bother with the stove.

Tonight saw the return of another struggler. She is so far unable to complete an entire 90-minute class without leaving the room. I try so much to tell her how she will benefit from holding on and sticking it out. Tonight she left at first savasana, and didn't come back. Tonight was most awkward for me, since we talked about teacher training right before class. I found myself surprised that she was considering it at all, since she struggles so much with her practice. I definitely felt a bit of frustration towards her, but I let it go and redirected energy towards the students who did stay.

At one point I watched another student reach for her water bottle at an odd time, only to rethink the drink and leave it alone. I smiled when I saw that.

After class I told my wayward leavin' student that she really needed to stick challenging classes out if she intends to follow through with teacher training. Every class she offers me an excuse for her exits. Tonight I just wouldn't take it. Not in an angry way, at all. I really want her to succeed, to find peace in the practice to the point that nothing fazes her. I decided that babying her wasn't working. Now the real work begins. I'll see where this goes.

I myself felt so damned tired before teaching. These days things feel more challenging. Crazy thing is: every time I get into the room and start teaching, all the fatigue and stress disappears. It's quite a trip.

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