Daily lesson from March 13, 2013 (Teach the teacher):
Moving with grace. Today’s class required a lot of time hanging out on one foot. In a hot room. On a tired leg. Yet my students hung in there, breathing the best they could, laughing after being reminded to relax their brow (cheaper than Botox, ladies), and to give their clenched little toes a break.
As I gently guided them toward some sort of peace during their one-legged journey through Warrior III, Eagle, Tree and Standing split, I noticed my own feet. Big time. As instructors, we need to be super mindful of our own movements in class. Are we gently gliding through the room, slow enough, and far enough away from a balancing student to allow them to maintain a steady gaze and control of their balancing pose? Or are we rapidly pacing from one side to another, swinging limbs and creaking the bamboo floorboards in the throws of trying to figure out what our next instruction will be? I’ve been guilty of the latter, but the immediate reaction from students (teetering, falling, and the occasional four-lettered sigh) has helped me free myself of this habit. So has the joy on their faces when they ‘stick’ a pose, thanks to me getting the hell out of their way.
Moving gracefully and with awareness is something we can all practice. Not just on the mat, but in life, too. It’s not easy. Ever see dancers literally float back to the floor without making sound at the bottom of a giant leap? That’s a ton of core body engagement, controlled breathing, and concentration working simultaneously to bring about the desired effect, and continue filling theater seats.
Conversely, there are my dear neighbors one floor above. God love them, but one day I am certain I will wake up to find a pair of feet hanging from ceiling after their final and fatal thud. Soft landing people! Maybe I’ll discreetly slip a few yoga passes under their door to get them to class. And one little bit closer to moving with grace.