SIX MONTHS LATER… IT’S NOT ALL HARD WORK – THERE’S A LOT OF FUN & LAUGHTER SPRINKLED IN AS WELL….
Yes, these are my teachers! I know, the costumes are hilarious, and I truly had a ton of fun taking their pictures and laughing alongside them. But as funny and carefree as they appear in this picture they are just as methodical, serious, and scary about the practice as they were 6 months ago – in fact, even more so now.
I’ve learned to accept (and in some crazy way, look forward to) being told loudly: “DO THAT AGAIN” or sarcastically told: “WELL ANNETTE, YOU’RE ACTUALLY UP TO IT TODAY, WOW!” – and, you get the drift – they are quite comfortable letting me know when I’m lazy, when I’m doubting myself, or when I need to stop procrastinating and just “do it already”! And I’m quite comfortable with all this because…..
You see, there’s a lot of LOVE along with these statements….my teachers are super gentle when you get hurt and need to ease up, in fact, they will yell at you if you push yourself too hard while injured. They are the first to scream with glee when you finally get into that hard pose you’ve been working on; they are excited to move you along to the next pose even when you try to argue with them that maybe they are mistaken, surely I’m not ready for this pose?! – they trust you and know you ARE indeed ready! And boy, are they happy to see you walk in the hot studio in the morning – you can hear it in their voice & see it in their eyes. No really, they are delighted to see each and every one of us. I think we energize them just as much as they energize us; it’s like an exchange of prana so to speak.
The changes I have experienced in 6 months are truly profound. I no longer believe “I can’t do this – I’m too old” – that statement just doesn’t ring true in my soul even if I do slip up and say it out loud. I feel different… not just stronger physically, but stronger emotionally and spiritually. I also know I just don’t feel right when I don’t do my practice in the morning – it’s like starting your day without brushing your teeth – you feel totally yucky & gross.
I’ve also developed a deep respect for my teachers, and every teacher who runs a mysore program. I’ve come to know how hard it is to get up every morning (and it’s been pretty cold and disgusting here in DC), and show up ready to practice. They are not only doing their own practice, but then spend several hours man-handling up to 40+ students at the crack of dawn!! Good grief – how much endurance, patience, and good cheer do you need to do this day in and day out. Yup, total respect.
You see, I’m starting to get it now. You can call it a cult, a religion, an obsession – it doesn’t really matter – the fact is it’s become as important to me as the air I breathe. I cannot explain it any better – but now I have a better understanding why my teachers get up every morning to practice, then come and share their knowledge and experience with us – because this practice is their oxygen as well.
So, 6 months later what I know for sure is that change is inevitable, and that I have a lifetime to get ‘the’ pose. My teachers know this all too well – and that is why they put on their Batman outfits, to remind us to laugh & not take ourselves too seriously. (As you can see, they don’t take themselves too seriously either)!
PS – I love you both!