This recent article from Kino MacGregor in Elephant Journal touched on how we should learn to let go of the need to “get” something from the teacher or the class. She wrote that if we rely on getting adjustments and attention from our teachers in order to have a good practice, then we will always be focused on an external source for our own development.
I totally agree with her on this but being adjusted or having the teacher assist us in the poses will help us in our learning process. When you are being assisted by the teacher, you should always pay attention to the teacher’s cues to help you move deeper in the pose.
By remembering my teacher, Azmi’s instructions on the breathing during his assists; inhaling to stretch into the pose and exhaling to move deeper into the pose and how leaning against his knees I am able to open the chest more, I found that I am able to go deeper on my own the next time I do the pose.
Kino also wrote about learning to fall in order to develop the kind of self-confidence that it takes to master the posture on our own. I can relate to this as I have fallen many times in headstand before I managed to master the pose.
When I started doing headstand, I would go to the wall and would end up placing my legs on the wall to keep myself in the pose. I found that I would rely on the wall and had difficulty lifting my legs from the wall once I am in the pose.
So, I decided to do the pose in the middle of the room instead. I would be able to go into the pose but would need my teacher to hold my legs up and when he takes his hand off, I would start to waver and start crashing down like a falling tree. After falling a few times, I learned to find my balance and managed to keep myself up for a few breaths.
The teacher is there to guide us and assist in the pose but it is up to us to keep finding our own center and our awareness on how we feel in the pose.
On a side note, this was posted by Peg Mulqueen and it would be nice to fill up one of this each time we go to class.