Learn, Heal, Live: For One

This next journey happened on its own accord. Since I’ve been blabbing my gums about yoga this, yoga that, virtually everywhere I go. I have received a gift. The gift is that my girlfriend has generously offered to be my student. The week of October 13 was the start of a twice a week practice. The sadhana I was drawn to teach was that of what I have been practicing and learning.

Our sadhana practice starts with chanting the Gayratri mantra. I use the version I found on youtube as a guide. We then flow into pranayama breathing of the Four Purifications, guided meditation and finally asana. Initially I was a little nervous jumping in so fast with even taking on a student let alone establishing a rather elaborate practice. However my heart and soul believe that the mere practice of asana is not the whole body and mind practice that I believe empowers and heals.

My student graciously accepted and ran with the sadhana I had put in place. Each time we met I would adjust the length of the Nadishodhana, Kapala Bhati, Agnisara Dhauti and Ashvini Mudra. I knew that she would go through the learning curve as I did of understanding the technique and feeling of the residual effects.

I currently use my living room for our sadhana. I made the space airy and light by moving furniture out of the way. Lights are soft. We have arranged the mats in several ways, side-by-side or me in front. I believe that I do best when I’m in front as it allows me seeing her and help adjust accordingly.

The guided meditation includes visualization of light starting at the head and passing through the body. I also used the so hum. I asked that she breath in so and exhale hum. The beauty of being a student still has allowed me to add new practices each time we meet. The most recent piece added during our meditation is the counting of our inhale and exhalation.

The asana practice initially started with me using the poses in Hatha Yoga Illustrated. By using the already proven sequencing I felt I would better concentrate in finding my teacher voice and language. However, what I failed to realize is that practicing while teaching added another layer to contend with. I felt I needed to practice in order to better understand and feel the pose. Whether practicing or just teaching finding the correct words are still challenges.

After realizing the challenges of practicing and teaching I switched to just teaching. This was my true test of patience, knowledge and leadership. By not practicing while teaching I was better able to focus solely on her alignment and whether or not she was hearing my direction. These classes felt longer but more rewarding.