Last Tuesday night I went to one of my very very very favourite teachers’ last class at my home studio. She is moving on.
I got emotional during class, and again after class when I went to thank her. I will miss her classes deeply. She taught me my 22nd class on 23 October 2011, and she has been a constant ever since. Tuesday nights and Sunday afternoons, Tuesday nights and Sunday afternoons, for three and a half years.
I love her for the love, passion and energy that she brings into the room. For the fact that I have always been able to rely on her to give me a really good class, even at times when I least wanted to be there. Times when I felt too exhausted, drained by work and life, or when I was sad, or angry and resistant. And at times when my body felt too sore and weak. When my lower back and sciatica said ‘just go home, have a bath and knock yourself out on the painkillers’. It’s okay, it’s Tuesday, you can do it. It’s okay, it’s Sunday, you can do it. She knows all of our weaknesses and strengths, she knows when to push hard and when to push with love and kindness. I owe much of the development in my practice to her careful attention, her numerous corrections, and her constant encouragement. So it certainly isn’t easy that she’s leaving.
But the tears and emotion were more of gratitude to her (and acknowledgement of how far I’ve come on this journey; a milestone of sorts) than of loss. There was a moment when I found out that she was leaving that my inner child threatened to stamp her feet and sulk. But it was fleeting. I’ve learned too much about change (annica, the universal law of impermanence) to not be suspicious that this might be good for me (I didn’t say nice and enjoyable, I said good, like spinach when you’re six years old). That this is only going to present me with an a opportunity to learn something significant.
Maybe it’s simply that I have become too regimented in my schedule and am not challenging myself with teachers I don’t love. Maybe, as I creep slowly closer to Teacher Training, it’s important that I push myself about a bit. Get out of my comfort zone.
It is also a reminder that I need only to rely on myself, and my own reserves of energy and love and passion rather than my teacher’s. Because when I am a teacher there will be days, many of them I’m sure, when I really don’t feel like teaching. Days hen I’m exhausted, drained, sad, angry, resistant and maybe there are students who annoy me. I have days when I don’t feel like talking, I slink about quietly avoiding chat until the following day when I have more energy. Those days won’t be going anywhere fast either. But I will still have to get myself there, put on that mic, bring the love, energy and passion and deliver a strong class. Like our teachers do, regardless of how they’re feeling.
In light of both of these things, I decided to not skip this Tuesday’s class, as had crossed my mind over the weekend. I decided to go. I decided to start relying on myself a bit more (or rather, I decided to start relying on my teachers a little less) to get me through a class. And I decided to have an open mind about who would teach. I didn’t even look at the schedule to see who was on (if I had, I may not have gone). I just went. It was a … surprising class. And I liked that despite my constant blackouts and sit-outs, I found things to like. Quite easily. I liked that it was hot. I liked that it was quite hard. I liked that it was very different to what I’m used to. But I also know that if I had come to this class under ‘normal circumstances’ I probably wouldn’t have gone back in a hurry. It’s not a class, or style I would gravitate towards, or enjoy.
But the universe gives you exactly what you need, and no more than you can handle. So go back I will. And learn to get on with it (equanimously) I shall.