Wow, I haven't written in a week - that was a long time for me! I will not apologize for this, because I keep thinking of the saying "never apologize, never explain" and I think there's something to it! But more on that later. I really did miss writing, though!!
I've had a house guest all weekend - another visiting teacher from LA - and it's been absolutely wonderful to have her here. She came in on Friday evening and I think we must have spent hours that first night just talking yoga. She taught the double at my studio yesterday morning (I took ONE of the classes) and then we spent the afternoon exploring downtown Santa Barbara. Then I made an avocado-kale salad for dinner and we hung out on the couch with my roomies and watched Dirty Dancing and Mask of Zorro. It was great.
I've got her reading "How Yoga Works" (which she can't put down), and we had such GREAT conversations about Bikram yoga - the teaching of it, the practice of it, the dialogue, the people, everything. I have so many ideas and beliefs bouncing around in my head that it is always awesome when I get a chance to just TALK. But here's the cool thing. My friend thinks that I am pretty smart and she loved the stuff that I had to say. So that made her get really energized again about teaching and yoga and dialogue and all of it. And as soon as she got this energy from me, I got WAY more energy from her! It was this perfect upward spiral. The more I gave to her, the more I got back for myself, so I just kept giving and offering as much as possible, and she kept taking it and passing it back to me, and it made me feel incredible.
One of the huge ideas in the beginning of that book (How Yoga Works) is that you can't just do your yoga practice for yourself. That's not powerful enough. What really will make it stick is if you do it for someone else. Literally. You do it so that you can be there for your family, so that you can be a better friend, so that you can do better at your job (assuming your job is also something that benefits the rest of the world)... and most of all, you do the yoga and try to bring yourself to some higher state so that other people can follow where you have gone.
I took my friend's class again this morning (which was awesome) and then we practiced together before she drove back down to LA, just the two of us going through and working on our postures, and I don't know if I've ever experienced that "give and take" principle so tangibly before. It was actually physical. This friend is working on a lot of the same things that I used to struggle with, so I was able to share quite a lot with her, and it was a pure joy. And even though I was focused on her instead of myself, I couldn't help notice that my own postures were significantly better than I expected them to be. My body was SO there for me. I did a couple of totally new things. And there was no reason or explanation for my own progress (my practice has been a bit of a wreck recently) - except for this. You get whatever you give. Maybe it's clique, maybe it's a platitude... but isn't it also TRUE? Maybe this is how the world really works. I'm getting more convinced all the time...