It was nearly 10 days ago (on Day 334) that I contemplated an energetic struggle between the masculine and feminine. It was this struggle that was driving a perceived strive for perfection and control. After all, those are very masculine traits. This struggle had become particularly apparent in writing about how I was both planning my yoga classes and teaching them.
I was meticulous in planning my class. I didn’t write it out word for word…although I did write out the entire sequence. And I not only carried it around with me to the classes I taught, but I’ve kept every class in a file folder for future reference. The thought being that at some point I’d revisit a previous class. Seemed smart…efficient…productive. Again, all very masculine traits to bring to a very feminine exercise.
Now that’s not to say yoga is for girls or men that are more feminine. When I saw yoga is a more feminine exercise, it’s because yoga tends to have a flow to it. It’s introspective, not competitive. It’s nurturing…calming…peaceful. Yoga is feminine…no different than lifting weights is masculine. Both genders do both forms of exercise. It’s the mental, emotional, and spiritual energies we bring to it and get from it that help to characterize its energetic form. Anyway, moving on….
So I’d gotten in this lovely habit of planning out my classes. It wasn’t necessarily because I wanted the class to be perfect…or because I wanted to be in complete control. It was because I wanted to be prepared. I wanted to give the students the best possible class, which for me meant being prepared….feeling confident. That was the primary reason I did so much prep work.
Then last Thursday night happened. I was wiped the entire day on Friday…barely able to get out of bed to drag myself to the couch. Planning my Saturday morning class on Friday (my normal practice) was out of the question. I told myself I’d have to do it Saturday before class.
Then Saturday morning rolled around and I still didn’t feel quite right. I felt better, but not 100%. Planning out a class was too much…moving was nearly too much. In hindsight, maybe I should have found a sub…although I’m pretty sure the students didn’t know I wasn’t feeling well. And I certainly wouldn’t have learned a lesson I desperately needed to learn.
With no time or energy to plan out my class, I used what I could muster to decide what my focus would be. I remembered that someone the week prior had asked for twists in the coming week. Ok, twists. Seemed fitting since detoxing was exactly what I needed to do (and they say we always teach what we need to learn…).
At breakfast I did a Google image search on twists. Sure, I had the basics in my brain but I wanted to see if anything different jumped out at me. There were a few poses I had forgotten about…cool, I’d add them to the list of possibilities.
I say possibilities because I walked into my Saturday morning Basics class with no more of a plan than…twists. I’d thought about possible warm ups…standing poses…balance poses…seated postures…a cool down series and the twists I could sprinkle throughout, but I didn’t put pencil to paper. I didn’t commit it to memory. Had I not been so exhausted, I might have been nervous. But again, I didn’t have the energy to muster the nerves.
Class went off just like every other class. It flowed. And it felt good not to be tethered to a pre-determined sequence. Believe it or not, I actually felt more present in the room because I had to be. There was no crutch to walk over to and look at to see what was up next. I had to stay in the room and string together the postures that felt right. I liked the end result so much I thought about writing it down for my Tuesday and Wednesday classes. Ert! No, no, no….
Tuesday rolled around and I did the same thing. Only this time I remembered that a student had requested inversions so I came to class with three options that we could play with. Then I walked into the room.
Everywhere I looked were walls filing cabinets and bookshelves the company was going to auction off the next day for charity. Nearly every piece of wall space was covered and then some. It felt like we were practicing in an office furniture salvage yard. Ok, toss that out the window….no room for the inversions I’d planned.
So I did something I’d always wanted to do but hadn’t had the courage to do. I asked the class what poses they wanted to play with. I admitted that what I’d planned wasn’t going to work so we might as well through everything out the window. They tossed out two poses to play with. A pose that would be great prep for inversions for next week…and one I could work into playing with twists.
With just two poses suggested, I decided to stick with my focus on twists. Even with the same focus, this class was completely different than Saturday’s class. It flowed into what my Tuesday ladies needed, not what my Saturday kids needed…or I wanted.
Next up was my 7am class this morning. (I know that everyone who knows me just had to read that line again…yes, 7AM…30 minutes from my house…which means I get up at 5:30 am to teach yoga. I could barely make it to the office before 9am and now I’m teaching class before I used to get out of bed. Funny how following your passion makes you do things that you wouldn’t normally do.) 🙂 Anyway, this was the group that had requested twisting and I was ready.
I had two classes of twists under my belt to pick from…and naturally, this class was completely different from the previous two. I’m not quite sure how they all ended up so varied…probably because the class was comprised of different humans with different energies and different skills.
Tapping into this awareness…comfort…confidence…whatever you want to call it…was divinely feminine. Each class designed to nurture the students in the room. Each class allowing myself and the students to simply go with the flow. All I can say is ahhhhhhhhhhh