Holding Space…

While I am a teacher of  this beautiful path of yoga, I am also an ongoing student…every day there is a new lesson to be learned on many levels. I feel sometimes that I have only just scratched the surface of this incredible inner world of ours and there is SO much more to understand. But what I HAVE learned on this path is what I endeavour to share with my students, and it is a responsibility that I take quite seriously.

People come to yoga for many reasons; I cannot possibly know what every participant in my class is going through. But what I do understand is that EVERYONE is going through SOMETHING and my job as a teacher is to create a safe, supportive space to allow students to process what they need to process. This job of holding space is twofold – first it requires keeping an eye on physical things like alignment, positioning, movement, and posture. Second (and more importantly), it requires guidance inward, beyond the physical to those places that we might not visit often enough…if ever. To go there involves trust and in guiding students to these places, we teachers must be gentle and compassionate, truthful and authentic.

When I’m sitting on my mat leading a class, it might be interesting to know what I’m experiencing as a teacher. While everyone’s eyes are closed, I am keeping a watchful eye. I have seen faces of bliss, faces of strain, faces of sadness, faces of boredom, faces of determination, faces of courage, faces of doubt, faces of anger, faces of defeat, faces of hope, and faces of love…Often I close my own eyes and just feel the energy of the room. Holding the space means being there with my students, guiding them deeper but not losing them. To me it means wrapping my arms around each and every one and holding them with care.

I have learned this from my own teacher, Yogrishi Vishvketu, who lovingly has taught me that our birthright is happiness, joy, fearlessness, and bliss…If I can help create the space for others to experience this, then my role as a teacher is fulfilled…and REAL. Come and explore with me…