"Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it."
Practice since arriving to Iceland has brought on a whole new energy. Interesting and strange how that happens. Working with beginner students affirms the compassion and softness needed to harness the intent of a long sustaining practice. Which in turn, makes teaching beginners such a wonderful experience. Living through a beginner's eyes each and every time teaches me an incredible amount of depth that arises when being in the moment with someone new to the practice. It's a discovery. An exploration.
In my own self practice I've continued to explore and discover with each posture. Even exploring where my mind goes in difficulty. Doing my best not to judge, but to experience, has opened me up to allow things to happen versus making them happen.
Even though the practice of Ashtanga Yoga has an active physical component, in the paradox of a challenging practice, being open, receptive, and allowing, adds synergy, powerfully balanced. Like being gently held. Aligning to the inherent energy inside. Nothing needs to be "done." Where I take my mind and move the energy from this internal place proves to inspire, and re-inspire, time and time again. I cease to be bored, as I expand into places I hadn't expected. What an adventure.
Though I'm an avid reader of yoga philosophy, I see how I'm only getting a glimpse. It's all about the experience. The experiential path of doing a practice, and living with awareness is the way. All of it intertwines. I see how I no longer need to look outside for answers, while still finding the importance in studying with master teachers. I guess what I'm saying is I don't necessarily have to look to a teacher for validation and answers into what has yet to be known, the dynamic of relationship with a teacher itself has endless possibilities. Though receiving perspectives is wonderful, until I've gone through the steps myself have I really fully understood.
When I teach I realize all I'm doing really is guiding those to enter into a space of openness and receptivity, where they can find their own inner wisdom, through the practice of asana. There is no right or wrong, even though there is a system and rhythm rolled out in Ashtanga Yoga. Because really it's never the practice that hinders us, or is the cause of our own detriment, it's our relationship to it. This is where I ask myself, and students to explore.
When I come to my mat the biggest effort is getting there. After that I'm continuing to learn how I need only to relax into what I'm doing. Like a settling in. Of course there is effort involved, but not nearly as much as long as I stay internally connected.
Each step is important. Each step has meaning. Each movement has life and sustenance in itself. It's almost as if I don't want to miss a single beat, luxuriating in every nuance while still connecting each movement to the next in a rhythmical fashion.
Can I flow in life from each moment to the next with such grace?
If anything, practicing yoga has taught me infinite patience.