I wanted to write a post last week, but my soul and mind just haven’t been there. It made me remember that I really have to think of this space as a open, free, honest space. It’s not all about the good, but about the bad too. Although I do think I needed more perspective (which involves TIME), so it’s probably good I took a longer break.
My right hip is on fire. I have self diagnosed a wonky IT band on that side since teacher training. I’ve spent much time rubbing the heck out of it with this really cool stress ball my parents had in the house. I had noticed that the slight pain went away when I didn’t practice. I’ve known that as much as yoga can save your life, it can injure the hell out of you. This is why proper alignment is so important. I don’t know how or when the injury occurred, but it somehow did.
Well, I’ve been going full steam for a while with an apprenticeship, practicing, writing lesson plans, and now that I’ve been teaching actual classes out in Milwaukie, I sometimes have been doing intense Vinyasa for three hours straight per day. My friend began to teach a free class there as well, so one day I taught for an hour and did two hours with her while she taught me. That day I felt a strange heated and grinding sensation in my hip but I ignored it. The next day I wrote up a new plan and practiced. I scaled back a bit, my hip was bothering me. The next day I taught just a half hour private. My hip hurt. I didn’t do half of the movement. I always tell students to listen to their own bodies and back off if anything feels painful…Time to listen to my own advice.
I spent time researching hip pain. Here’s the thing: I don’t like going to the doctor. Before I see any well meaning comments, I promise ahead of time that in this case I will. The conclusion I came to for the time being was that all of the tiny fascia, tendons, and muscle on the inside of my hip needs some time to heal. I need to STAY OFF OF IT! I can see all of you rolling your eyes, don’t try to hide it.
Simultaneously it seems I received more feed back from my mentors at my apprenticeship. I have fulfilled all of my hours there, I taught a demo class, and then I received feedback. I do have to say here that as much as I know this feedback will only make me stronger and will someday not be so smarting to my sensitive teaching soul, I am really depressed by it. Grow or go seems to be the only two decisions. I doggedly tape the Sanskrit translations in the kitchen. Even though I feel so sad that I am not where I want to be yet, I still am not giving up. One of the critiques was to get off the mat. To perhaps stick with Basic Hatha for a while until my teaching chops grow more (Hatha moves slower that Vinyasa so it will give me more time to gather my words). May be just what my sore hip needs. It feels better for now, but I still want to give it more rest. Instead of practicing for hours I will have to do only the gentle non hip stuff and visualize the rest. We’ll see what happens when I teach! I’m grateful for the gig in Milwaukie while I wait to audition again at the studio where I apprenticed.
Another piece of advice, talk in a natural voice. You have no idea how many curse words that inspires within me. I can’t get out of that sing songy way of teaching. I can’t! It drives me crazy. And before anyone accuses me of being too hard on myself, believe me if I could get away with getting jobs with the lilts I would! I’m currently reading this book called Dreaming in Hindi by Katherine Russell Rich. I believe it is telling me what I need to hear so I won’t give up on the yoga teaching (I realistically believe I am hear what I want to hear, but so what if it helps me?). Stretch your mind a bit and think of teaching as learning another language. She says,
To learn a second language, you have to be willing to give yourself up, the self encoded in your first one. You are no longer a person who speaks with facility and authority. You are less than what you were as a child: You cannot transact a phone call without help, discuss matters more complex than the color of fruits and vegetables. You cannot signal who you are. Most of us, by the time we’re adults, speak in so many words. We convey information through tone: I am sad, or I am displeased, or Is it not clear? I am important. Our speech acquires layers so that directness, when employed, has power through force and rarity: “I don’t like what you did.” But at the beginning in learning a language, you can only be direct. You can say “Tea is required here,” not “Can I get a cup?” -a vast difference in terms of your popularity. In half language, you’re half what your were, half and overgrown child. You speak like a child, are received as a child. In this other state, you lose abilities.
So I’m pretty much a weirdo woman toddler yoga teacher. Much like my son who talks like Curious George, mouthing loud noises, but never making any real sense. I may dream yoga, but I’m not yet fluent in it. I remember my master teacher asking me what I feel confident to teach, confidence being one of my first hurdles. My job, I answered. I could teach anyone my old day job confidently and naturally. I knew it in and out. I would not have trained anyone in a sing song voice! That would have been ridiculous.
So what do I do with all of this information. The only response I have at this time is to wait and pray. Do what’s in front of me which is teaching in Milwaukie and putting all of these critiques at the forefront of my teaching. But also to let it go and try to find the joy as well. And to figure out what’s ailing my right leg.
It rained like mad on Halloween, like it did not stop all night. My mom, H and I just went around the block, his head and bear suit got drenched. He was a little bewildered, being only 19 months, he did not really understand what it all meant. He did enjoy eating candy (only a couple of pieces) and had a fit the next day because we would give him any! On to Thanksgiving and Christmas, I wish I could make time go slower, this is my favorite time of year.
We’ve been getting some especially bright sunrises:
And H has perfected Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog), only he likes to keep balance on his head instead of his hands:
I appreciate any good vibes sent regarding my teaching crisis. I wish you all a very cosy, peace filled begin to this November.
Xo & Namaste~