Bram Levinson

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 🙂

0 Responses

  1. I like! Mostly because I know you’re really just talking to me – I knew you’d make a great mentor 😉 I’m going to try to step onto my mat today… it’s been 2-3 weeks and I’m finding it tough – particularly because I have to really think about avoiding certain neck movements (hard to do that when I get into my practice and also because I have a habit of pushing myself a little too hard). I’m hoping my body doesn’t hate me later 😀

    Enjoy the snow – it’s pouring over here and not a snow flake in sight!

  2. Dear Bram!

    Thank you for expressing your thoughts, always! As you open yourself, you allow others to do so, that is a great way to teach and learn from. OPEN!!! We are all teachers and all students, at all times. I am greatful that you are part of my life, of my path, of the Luna family, that is very dear to me, and that has given me the opportunity to put me on the yoga path I needed to be on & follow. Yes, it is sometimes obscured what the student and teacher relationship is defined, more so in this day in time. Before, there was on student for one “guru”. Now, the teacher is splitting one self among many students… Yesterday, at Yoga Sangha, Sylvie Tremblay said: “back in the days (long long time ago-India), if one person had the time for a spiritual practise, once a week, that was incredible”. We are lucky if we can devote time to this amazing practise, and more so, if we can share it – it’s a privileged!
    See today, it’s Thursday, and I will miss your class, miss getting my weekly confident hug, that I must get on with teaching yoga, let the fear bugs out, and trust the infinite love, compassion, mother nature, universe, that I have received so much from precious teachers, it’s time that this be passed on, and touch others, how profoundly I got touched and continue to be touched by such generous teachers – as yourself ; )

    Thank you for all that you are and all that you do – Bramadelight!

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