Yoga, Just Do It, class, plan, teaching, teacher, Scaravelli

Yoga: Just Do It

YOGA: Just do it…

Sometimes a yoga practice has to be just that: a practice, something that we do again and again, repeating the familiar in the hope that, one day, it will expand into the extraordinary.

As a yoga teacher, there’s often a pressure to come up with some amazing focus or theme for a yoga class.  That pressure can create all sorts of wholly unnecessary anxiety and tension that is entirely un-yogic, and quite beside the point. Sometimes inspiration does come easily – I’ll see a picture, or move in some unusual way, or attend a workshop, and it develops into a whole week (or even two) of exploration. And then sometimes, I’m a bit tired, a bit lacklustre, maybe absorbed in something else, and when I get on the mat there’s … well, there’s nothing. No inner voice suggesting a particular image or approach. No desire to even practice a specific pose. And then what do I do? All the doubts rush in – what should I teach? If I can’t even inspire myself, how can I inspire my students? How do I even dare to call myself a yoga teacher? The arrogance! The hubris!

And then, because I do try to be a bit disciplined (it gives me a chance to indulge my inner critic), I get out the mat, and force myself to lie on it. And sometimes something happens and it’s magical. And other times, like yesterday, I have to admit that I just laid there for what seemed like ages. Literally, just laid there, like a lump. Even the cats didn’t come to investigate. When I realised I was really on my own, with my body, and my mat, I just did a bit of yoga.  Just a few postures. Nothing outstanding, nothing more than the usual – a bit of curling up through the spine, a supine twist, a down dog, a leg stretch and a standing twist, with a balance thrown in for good measure – and then I laid back down again for savasana. And, miraculously, it was enough.

I went out and taught just that practice (after all, it was all I had). The yoga class was very simple, rather subdued perhaps, but nevertheless we moved, breathed and asked ourselves to develop sensitivity. And I felt ok, and students seemed to like it. It answered a need for simplicity and quiet. And, maybe because of its simplicity, it stopped me talking so much for a change.

Sometimes, all you need is to get on the mat, and bang out some postures. Not literally move through them mindlessly, but just do it.

Yoga, Teacher Training Course, British Wheel of Yoga, Scaravelli, Hatha

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