Thursday, February 24, 2011

Because I am that kind of teacher.

Hi, my name is Ron, and I’ll be leading the practice.  Whether you have arrived here purposefully or have just stumbled in, it is important that you know what to expect.  Because I am that kind of teacher.

  • I wear to teach what I wear to practice: scrubs or shorts and a baseball shirt, faded from use.  The covering does not matter.  Effort matters.
  • I will not list my “teachers” in my bio.  I stood next to Gregory Hines once, but that does not make me a tap dancer.
  • I have not been to India.  I am blessed to have people in my satsanga who have, and infinitely blessed that they have generously shared their experiences with me. This does not make me unqualified.
  • I have not been to a temple.  I carry my temple with me where ever I go.
  • I do not have a guru.  Practice is my teacher.
  • My mat and mala are not ornamental.  Both are well used.
  • I have practiced everything that I teach, and will teach nothing that I do not practice.
  • I have not conquered fear, anger, doubt; have not cultivated infinite patience, nor the ability to see God in every being and situation.  I am a student, and have faith that with continued practice, these things will come.  I will never claim that I have mastered anything.
  • I am not a vegetarian.  I practice giving thanks at meals to the offering set before me.
  • I will not put you in a pose, and do very few hard adjustments.  This is your practice.  You need to find where you are going to work.
  • We will chant OM and the Mangala Mantra (at least).  You do not have to chant, I will chant for the both of us. I will provide a sheet for you with the chants which you can keep if you want.
  • I will mention God in one form or another.  This is a spiritual practice, an act of adoration to the Lord.  Please feel free to substitute any name that I use for one that works for you.

Because I am that kind of teacher.

If you are in my class, I have only two requests:
·        If it hurts, stop.  You are doing it wrong.  Not every pose is appropriate for every student.  Let me know, and we will find a more appropriate pose for you.  It is difficult to accept, but we all must come to the understanding that our practice is our own—not the next person’s, not the teacher’s, not the me of yesterday/last week/last year. 
·        Be open to “maybe.”  Everything was impossible once, and evolution is a long, slow, continuous, and non-linear process.  With practice all is coming.

Because I am that kind of teacher.

If you are a teacher attending my class, I expect more of you.

  • I expect that you do the method I prescribe, how I prescribe it to the best of your ability.  I will give you this same respect when I am in your class.
  • I expect that you are practicing on your own, that you are studying on your own.  That you are aware of the general themes in the Bhagavad Gita, The Yoga Sutras, The Hatha Yoga Pradipika.  If not, I will give these works to you.
  • I expect that you know that the Bhagavad Gita is a tiny part of a very long work, The Mahabharata, and that that work and the Ramayana encompass and illustrate all the teachings of the Vedas.  Study these works and you are studying the Vedas.
  • I expect that you know I.2 and II.1 of the Yoga Sutras, in Sanskrit, because they form the basis for everything we do in Hatha Yoga.
  • I expect that you smile while you are sweating.

Because I am that kind of teacher.

Because I am that kind of teacher, I offer my practice to you.  Not to show you how YOGA I am, but to show you that someone like you, with a family, working 2 jobs, can find a consistent practice which works for you:
5 am:  Gayatri and Japa  of mantra (every day)
5:15: Chanting, pranayama (6 days)
5:30: Asana (6 days)
Lunch Hour: Reading (Gita, PYS, or HYP most often) or listening to audiobook or kirtan (as possible, and during the commute (listening not reading))
Nightly: Chant the Hanuman Chalisa to my son, from memory.  I have memorized a little more than half the prayer over the course of a year.

This is all I have to offer, and I give it to any student who comes.

Because I am that kind of teacher. 

No comments:

Post a Comment