Teaching my local community is such a gift. But it wasn't a gift that I could have even imagined. My Dharma led me here, for real. After some deep and thick study of the Bhagavad Gita with my teacher Kelly Sunrose, I really dropped into what felt real and true for me. Oh I'm not saying it was all roses and lattes, it was something I had kinda struggled with, as I wanted to be "more".
But "more" brings a stress with it, a longing and a tension between where I was and where I wanted to be. Or where I thought I wanted to be! But slowly, over a few seasons, I began to notice something. I noticed a feeling of truth, a feeling tone of "this is right", and as I began to notice that, I began to feel so happy and grateful.
Teaching locally is the best for me. Its connecting with students, knowing their names and sometimes their families, its remembering that yes this student has a sore hip, this one is going through something major, has just recovered from ..... And this is a gift, THIS is for me an honour. This is the truth of teaching for me, that my dharma in teaching yoga is to teach local and to offer the best of myself to these students.
And this isn't always easy. Because even the Yoga world is full of courses, How to pack out a room, How to be more, 10 steps to be a great Yoga Teacher, How to take your teaching to the next level, when to share, when not to share.... and it goes on and on! And Instagram! Oh how I love Instagram. But I tripped up there a couple of months ago. I almost developed a little Instacrush on a fellow Yoga teacher's account,, you see her photo's and words are divine! It's beautiful. And it captured me for a little while, until I realised ...... oh THIS is beautiful and she has a way with texts and images, but I'm feeling distracted by her path. So I unfollowed her. Not because I don't want to see her glorious images pop up on my feed, but because it was distracting me from my own path. And more and more, I'm feeling that this feeling of truth, authenticity and integrity forms the foundation of my path. This takes effort, self reflection and truth... and these are sometimes gnarly, awkward and uncomfortable. But hey, isn't life like that sometimes! If we aren't growing, if we aren't catching ourselves and re-orienting toward our own true north, what are we up to?
I feel true and lit up when I'm practising Yoga, when I'm studying the old Vedic Texts, when I'm bringing that forward in an accessible and sometimes fun way to students. This is my dharma, I feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. It feels "true".
One of my favourite texts is called the Radiance Sutras and here's a little of their wisdom on it too from Insight Verse 160:
Friends, relatives, neighbours, people who abide
In your village, city, country -
Be not concerned with their attitudes
Toward these teachings.
Everyone is discovering the intimate universe
In their own way.
We are aren't we! No one can do that for us. We must discover this life and our path for ourselves.
If your reading this and want to throw in a Yoga posture to contemplate all of this with, do what the ladies in the top photo have done. Find a bit of wall, snuggle up to it with your hip (whichever one) and then turn and gently swing your legs up the wall, Viparitia Karani. Find a good distance from your hips to the wall, and then Rest your hands and arms where they feel comfortable, by your sides, resting on your heart or even up behind you.
Sometimes its good to turn things inside out, and upside down to have a break and get some perspective.