Somewhere toward the end of our first weekend teaching the Practice, Wellness, Community program together, it occurred to me that Rachel and I have an almost identical teaching origin story. We were both taking classes regularly with Christina at Prescott Yoga- late 90’s, early 00’s- and I suppose it made perfect sense to Christina for us to cover her classes for her when she went away. So she headed south to Tucson for 10 days with JF and split her classes up among Rachel and I. We had no experience. We were teaching the people that we usually took classes alongside. And as far as I know, neither of us had any vision around ever teaching. So amazing the evolution of things. 20 years later and we have built so much of our lives around not just the yoga, but the teaching of the yoga as well.
I don’t think I can really do justice in words to how good it feels to be collaborating with 2 of my most longtime sisters on the path. It blow my mind how right it has felt thus far in terms of shared space as well as so seamlessly and gracefully sharing the seat of the teacher. Chris, who was our amazing behind the scenes support (and chef!) told me several times that he was really witnessing this beautiful fluid rapport between the 3 of us. Full of positive regard, mutual respect, admiration and love. With every day that passes between weekend 1 and weekend 2, I am becoming more and more clear that we designed this program not just because we saw the need for these teachings to come alive for this student group, but because we need them as well.
I have been teetering right on the edge in my home life. Overwhelmed, under-inspired, at an almost loss with my almost teen. Like there is not enough of me to go around and what there is is just about an unseen afterthought. I have been struggling. And the cold and the dark of course doesn’t help much. But I keep thinking about how Sam shared in our first closing circle that she is not just excited for how much the students are going to get out of our time and work together, but that she really feels something transforming in her as well. Taking root. Rising up. This project is for us as much as it is for the rest of the cohort. I was chatting with her on my birthday last week and I keep smiling when I think about the way her voice shifted and opened up into this bright tone I haven’t often heard when she relayed a moment of “bragging” about the program to a few friends in Tucson last week. Y’all! Sam never brags and certainly never with such bright light joy in her voice. Something is happening. And it is thrilling and right and just might be a lifeline.
Speaking of Bragging- we have been attempting to have a brag circle around our table from time to time. So challenging, and goofy, and yet another way in which everything that Rachel continues to offer in her teaching is jaw-drop profound and clear and relevant and approachable. She is helping me take ideas that have been alive in me for a long time regarding ownership and growth oriented group work and helping me bring them in to the light in ways that feel honest and natural and potent. Her work is accessible, and relevant, and as far as I can tell, not just timely for me.
Last night I taught the Monday night class at the studio downtown- which is often one of my most favorite teaching moments of the week. In big part because so many of the folks that study with me privately make it to that class. Generally they are a smattering throughout the classroom, but as this program finds its wings they have been magnetizing together into a powerful and cohesive collective energy. Their focus and their emerging connection and regard lifts me. They set a tone for the larger group that simultaneously prioritizes earnest attention, lightness of heart, and a sense of humor. It is everything to me in terms of a group energy that feels inclusive and supportive and authentic. It is beginning to feel like the living proof in the world of the very real connection that I have relied on over the years with my yoga family. The deep and abiding relationship of people like Sam and Rachel that been there for me in some small as well as some major ways for over half of my life. I want that for the people who study with me as well. I want them to have a community of support in which they are seen, accepted, encouraged and held.
So, here is the sequence from last night’c class. It isn’t particularly special other than that it felt good to be together and make shapes. Another Monday night of stepping into practice. Of stepping into the collective energy and trying to set the bullshit aside for a bit.
Here you go. Big hugs.
eka pada pavanmuhktasana, eka pada ananda balasana, succirandrasana, SPG 1,3, half lotus prep, setubandha
Virabhadrasana 2- parsvakonasana/ reverse warrior, trikonasana, parsva utthitta hasta padangustasana, ardha chandrasana
Standing half lotus, ardha baddha padmottanasana, eka pada bakasana prep
Gomukasana, eka pada virasana, Dolphin, Dwi Pada Viparitta Dandasana prep
Bharadvajasana 2, ardha baddha padma paschimottanasana, paschimottanasana