Post holiday reflections

It’s a nice rainy day after Christmas in Hawai’i. Probably the closest we’ll ever get to a White Christmas. A good day to reflect, sip tea, and write. According to my jyotish calendar, I am right smack in the middle of Sade Sati, or a seven-and-a-half year period of intense personal challenges. Given the way things have gone in the past two years, I’d say that I am starting to have more belief in my chart. That being said, Sade Sati is supposed to conquer one’s ego and strengthen one’s resolve.

There are certain remedies for Sade Sati, namely an intense yoga practice, mantra-s and songs for Shani who represents Saturn (the astrological placement during Sade Sati) and Hanuman who represents intense devotion and resolve. Also doing good deeds for the less fortunate also decreases the malefic effects of the current planetary placements.

In this morning’s early class I had one student show. She braved the rain and post holiday hustle and bustle to make to class. Small classes are a gift for teachers as they allow you to explain things in greater detail, use more props if needed, and even discuss more philosophical aspects of yoga.

I was able to help her with her pronunciation during the seated invocation to Patanjali and give more of an overview on why we chant this before class. I taught this student how to use a wall rope for adho mukha svanasana for spine traction, and also hang in rope sirsasana. We did supported sarvangasana with a chair and cross bolster setu-bandha. It was a supported, inverted sequence to take the edge off the frenetic holidays.

Now that the pressure is temporarily off for assessment, I feel I can teach with a bit more freedom and go back to poses that I have neglected teaching for a while–the basic salt and pepper poses that season a good practice. There will be plenty of time this year for the more exotically spiced asanas.

My good friend Sonia emailed me an audio recording she took on her phone of Geetaji’s inspiring speech during Guruji’s 99th birthday celebration last week. Geetaji pointed out that Mr. Iyengar never had to get a certificate, he just had devotion to his teacher and his teachings. He just had his practice which spoke for itself. Geeta said that one day Krishnamarcharya’s granddaughter asked Iyengar whom he considered his best student. She said Iyengar replied “Sundararaja.” Sundararaja was his best student. Now if I can only find this “Michael” guy and teach him a thing or two…

Happy belated birthday to Geeta and Mr. Iyengar! Thank you for all that you teach us.

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9 thoughts on “Post holiday reflections

  1. Tom Leverty

    I think that we all have our “Michael”, mine is named “Tom”!…Although they have good intentions and continue to show-up to practice, they are slow learners when it comes to that “thing or two” your are talking about. Keep up the blog and the Best for 2018!

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  2. Amber Foxx

    We had a warm, sunny seventy-degree Christmas in my part of New Mexico. Just the way I like it. Thanks for the positive views on very small classes. It was educational to read what you did for this student. I do appreciate the opportunity to tailor a class to the needs of that one student who comes during the holiday rush, and I expect more challenges with bigger classes in the new year. I like to think those small classes refine my teaching skills.

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    Reply
    1. yogibattle Post author

      Small classes are a blessing. They are an opportunity to get to know your students better. One time Laurie Blakeney gave me very good advice on small classes. She said she used to teach in a gym and when there would be a handful of students, she would scoot her mat closer to them to close the space. It works well. Happy holidays Amber 🙂

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