Tag Archives: Yoga Students

Winding Down

I’ve just lay down on the couch with the winter storm wind howling past the windows of my flat and my dog curled up asleep against my legs. Today marks the end of in-class teaching for me for 2012, and the past few days I’ve felt this post taking form in my mind. Now feels like the right time to get it all down and attach the symbology of words to it.

This year has proven to be another massive opportunity for growth and learning, and as each year passes, I realize that that is what’s constantly available to us: the opportunity to view all that occurs in our lifetime as catalysts for growth and change. I do my best to ensure that every class I teach, every student I mentor, and every word I speak or write conveys certain things to those with whom my path crosses: that yoga is a big toolbox that provides us with what we need to live life fully, passionately, with full awareness and presence of mind…that we have the choice as to how we approach and end up living this life we’ve been blessed with…that how and where we find ourselves is exactly how and where we need to be to accomplish and fulfill our goals and dharma. We are each here for a reason – you are not reading this by accident, and you are not alive in this moment in time haphazardly. We each have a mission to carry out, and I believe that mine is to bring people together by waking them up to what matters on a fundamental, heartfelt level.

20121222-171342.jpgWith that said, I would get nothing communicated or expressed if no one thought me worthy of their time and attention. I’ve expressed my gratitude to students before, but this year has brought me to a place where simple gratitude pales in comparison to how I feel about those of you who encourage me to keep teaching, typing, and barreling onwards.

To those of you who have come to my classes, I thank you. To those of you who have joined me on retreats, I thank you. To those of you who have participated in the workshops and teacher training I’ve given, I thank you. To those of you who have followed my blog and taken the time to read my words, I thank you. To those of you who have taken any of my insight to heart and let it guide you closer to a place of truth and light, I thank you. To those of you who have laughed with me, I thank you. To those of you who have let down your guard and shared your stories, your suffering, your hopes and your journeys, I thank you. To those of you who have trusted me enough to come to me when it mattered, I thank you. To those of you who have taught me when you had no idea you were doing so, I thank you. To those of you whom I’ve disappointed and had enough respect and love for me to let me know the error of my ways, I thank you. To those of you who have let me assist in your healing, I thank you. To those of you who have shared your energy with me, I thank you. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart, and will never stop doing so.

To my teachers who have provided me space in their spheres of wisdom, namely Joan Ruvinsky, Jennifer Maagandans, Mark Darby, Kelly McGrath, Sharon Gannon, and David Life, I thank you. With my head bowed in humility and my heart open to learning, I thank you.

My path has been and continues to be blessed with messengers and bearers of light, and my hope is that in attempting to do them justice by passing on the wisdom bestowed upon them by their teachers, I can reflect and project that light as brightly and brilliantly as they do.

Without them, and without you all, I would merely be speaking words into empty space.

With love and heartfelt gratitude for you all, I wish you the brightest, happiest and healthiest of holidays. Thank you for accompanying me on this journey, and we’ll see where it takes us in 2013!

Without You…

From Where I'm Sitting

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 🙂