90 / by vanessa

Tonight Kristin and I went for Thai-n-pie. We both felt tired yet the conversation wound smoothly. I often leave Kristin having had those aha! moments where you recognize suddenly a pattern you've had your entire life and in that split instance of recognition, the power of that pattern begins to disintegrate. For me, that happened twice tonight.
Wednesday night I went to yoga. It was hard but back when I was going to the studios in Boston daily, it would have been no sweat. My practice has since dwindled to a 2-3 xs per week occurrence and in class I've been acutely aware of how weak my practice has become. Waning is the liquid movement I once felt. Replacing it is the slow sludge of muted bones and muscles. I've watched class after class as my practice has become markedly different than it once was and yet I still put on an act as if to say "I know what I'm doing, I'm just taking it slow so I can really feel the pose" and then I would fixate on alignment until we were ready to move on to the next one, so that I never fully committed to any posture. *exhale* On Wednesday in Seane's class something shifted -- I experimented with not picking at my alignment, and just committing to sucking. I decided that I would pretend like I didn't really know where my foot was supposed to go or the rotation on my arms, and wherever they landed when I first entered the pose is where each would stay. Well, not knowing rules! It's funny because I had the idea the other day that with my teaching I am starting completely over and just throwing away everything I've learned, and not saying things like I've been teaching for a few years; instead saying "I'm a new teacher" or "I'm a beginning teacher" since really I feel like I don't know anything at all. And, since my practice often parallels my teaching, I've come to the same place with it - like I don't know anything about the practice and I'm a beginner -- how does this work? Long story long, what I realized tonight is that holding on to the idea of being a yoga teacher, or to the appearance of being an experienced practioner is a burden. The phrase "being willing to show up and suck" resonates differently in my body than it has before.
Which brings me to my second OIC moment: we were discussing how sometimes while teaching you'll talk about these "concepts" that you believe and *think* you understand, e.g. "you don't need to change anything you just become aware" until you have a moment much later in which you finally get what it is that you've been preaching all this time in a whole new way. Moreover, you see the concept now in a way that indicates you never understood it before. Like only now is settling into the space between your cells with such familiarity that any previous associations to it were clearly just simulacra. And with that there is the sweetest, faintest sigh yet it feels like the entirety of the heavens has opened wide. The code is cracked and you watch yourself moving into new land where you recognize the surroundings but it is all so much more vibrant than you remembered it.