It’s December 1, and I’m sitting in the sun-drenched kitchen of my UK friends soaking up the heat of the sunbeam while a visiting arctic weather system that has already dumped snow on the country literally howls outside. My view from where I’m sitting is the village church and its tower, the perfect backdrop to the massive back lawn that is blanketed in white. My journey over was seemingly interminable, as it always is, but the weather added an element I’ve never had to deal with in the past 20 or so times I’ve been here. Landing in a snowstorm, waiting at Heathrow’s bus station to make my journey North while trying to avoid the gusts of wind that would roll in every time the sliding doors to the bays opened…another reminder that no matter how familiar I am with any given process, there’s always opportunity for something new to present itself. And in keeping with every time I travel, I once again find myself contemplative, thinking about how the year that is coming to a close has been pivotal for me, a real game-changer. I’ve worked with more focus and direction this year than any in years previous, and despite having seen dreams actualized and have my life become more of everything than I could have hoped for, there’s one thing that matters more to me than any of the accomplishments: the students.
The role of the students in our world of yoga is often discussed from the point of view of the students themselves, but rarely do we hear a teacher discuss it from their own perspective…so here I am 🙂 I know that on some levels, especially those that refer to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras 2.7 & 2.8, the teacher should assume a purely objective stance in regards to his or her students, but to not communicate my thoughts on the matter would be doing an injustice to my students.
What I’d like my students, and at the risk of speaking on the behalf of other teachers, all students to know is that it is a true honour to be able to share my thoughts and insight with you who listen with open hearts and ears. Knowing that my words and intention have an effect on you is a responsibility I take very seriously, and one that keeps growing as I continually get feedback from you letting me know how your lives are changed by the information that I pass on…and again, at the risk of sounding repetitive for those who come to my classes, please know that I’m simply passing on what has been passed onto me, in the hopes that it will continue to be passed on by you. You should also know that as much as you may learn in my classes, I also learn from every one of you. Every adjustment I give, every reaction I see in each of you instructs me more about not only you, but myself and the human condition as well. Understand that with every class that ends with you floating back to reality in a meditative, peaceful state (what we typically refer to as the “Yoga Haze”), I float out of the class as well, meditative and all the more certain in the path I’m on and the role I’ve been blessed with.
Essentially, what I’m trying to say is that I would not be a teacher if it weren’t for the students. Without you, I’m nothing. I am because we are. And for that, I’m grateful 🙂