Monday, March 13, 2006

What I shoulda said...

Yesterday afternoon, Dave had us set up in a class, mats laid out, students lined up. And he selected a teacher at random to get us going, swapping out teachers frequently throughout the practice. It’s a useful exercise, as it keeps us, as students, thinking “If I’m next, what do I say? which poses come next?, etc.” I got called on to teach danurasana -- Bow pose ( I stiffly coached the class through the pose; Dave swapped teachers again; and I went back to my mat. In the feedback session later, Amanda suggested that I bring out more of my sense of yoga, rather than sticking strictly to the set of cues.

That seems good advice, but thinking of what to say in a setting like that is hard. So, of course, I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

Here’s what I should have said to the class that was, when I started, in belly-down savasana, heads turned to the right:

Raise your chin to the floor. Reach back with your hands and grasp your ankles. On an inhale, kick back into your hands and let the strength of your quads lift your torso. Breathe here. And as you breathe, feel the strength of the lower half of your body kicking back and lifting the torso, the strength of the upper half of your body drawing forward and lifting your legs. And feel the entire weight of your body balanced on the softest part of it. Danurasana challenges you to move into – not away from – the opposing forces in your life, feeling the tightness and exertion of those oppositions lifting you toward the sky; at the same time your soft belly grounded on the earth.

That’s what I should have said. Why is it that I always think of these things too late?