Yesterday I wrote of cycles, and attempting to learn from past experiences and situations. Of course today would present to me the opportunity to put my money where my mouth is.
Fairly standard class this morning. 16 students, if I recall correctly. One newbie, two late arrivals and a second newb who pulled on the locked studio door at 9:01 (for my 9am class) and acted surprised that I wasn't interested in letting her in. I especially liked the fact that she told me she'd never been to our studio before and she also had to drop her daughter off at school. If I could have scratched my head at that comment, i would have, but instead I apologized and told her I had a class to teach.
Right now I keep mulling over the difference between being a disciplinarian and a control freak. Some would call me the latter, and some have in the past. I think I'm learning how to let go of what I cannot control, and this pleases me. This does not mean, however, that I just take shit as it comes. A 9am class should start at 9am, dig? A ninety-minute class should finish in ninety minutes, if you smell what I'm cookin'. Insisting on punctuality and continuity feels more like discipline to me, not control. So I can insist that you're ready to practice at 9am, but I won't stress out if I can't control your tardiness.
My afternoon practice meant more time to mull over this distinction. First I noticed several students setting up their mats rather haphazardly, basically insisting on being as close to doors and windows as possible despite anyone who might have already staked claim in that real estate. This meant I had a student literally on top of me (and I was in the second row!) as well as another student who parked himself right in front of me, leaving me no room to see myself in the mirror. No worries. I just took my breaths and got on with my practice.
The fellow in front of me also happens to be one of my challenges. He chooses to do postures his own way, despite the fact that the Bikram series is rather specific. When I have him in my class I do what I can to keep him working with us, but it's often for naught. It seems my staff must agree, because no one else calls him on it. It definitely messed with my own practice, because how is it that someone who isn't representing the practice properly gets to stand in front of, and block, a teacher? But really... whatever. I can't control it. All I can control is what I do and how I present myself.
As much as I hope to step out of my mind when I practice, dealing with this challenging student inspired me. I came up with a few ways to encourage students to try the practice as we deliver it. Let's see if it works.