Saturday, October 4, 2008

Baby Pose


I have only been in Squamish for around 3 weeks and strangely it feels like 3 months. The time has flown by but at the same time dragged on.
My yoga classes started and the first one was teaching yoga to first nations children at a private school. I have taught yoga to children in schools but all classes have been supervised by another adult. There were about 20 kids all under the age of 13, and me. After about 5 minutes I knew this would be a very interesting learning experience. For anyone to hear what I was saying I had to elevate my voice to a yell. When I raise my voice it seems to get even smaller and I couldn't really decipher my own from the others. In the middle of class I started having the children teach poses and in between volunteers there were tiny pauses, ripples of quiet. Nevertheless, afterwards I laid on the floor exhausted, my ears prickling in the silence. I shifted onto my belly and remembered a particular posture that Rameen Peyrow taught in a Yoga Lounge workshop called the "baby pose". With my ear to the hardwood I finally sunk into the floor. I felt like it was the first time I had really felt the earth in a long time. 10 glorious minutes. With all the running around and trying to squeeze my enthusiasm into this community, I think I forgot to feel the ground beneath me for a while. I remembered evocatively how easy it was to feel at the Vipassana course. I could just sit down and close my eyes and... thunk... I was plugged in to this immeasurable support. Then... whoosh ... I felt this expanding lightness that balanced it. Lately, it has been harder to feel. Maybe too much coffee, maybe not enough time in a day, maybe too much intensified activity, maybe life just happens to be that way sometimes.
In Yoga Philosophy there is a phenomenon called Prana (Basic Energy). We don't need to be convinced that we are made up of energy right? Anyways, Prana could be many things but it is the principal creative life force. Apana is it's counter energy in the body. Apana is downward and grounding force, but also it is part of prana. With too much prana one can feel like their head is in the clouds. With too much apana one can feel dull and sluggish. Balancing these two energies (which sometimes may take no effort at all- or a very artful way of life) creates equilibrium in life.
I don't think that one can always be balanced, but recognition of what it is that takes us out of equanimity may be very helpful.
Deep breathing, close company and exercise are good ways to jack up prana.
Meditation and less stimulant intake are good ways to emphasize apana... So is 10 minutes in the "baby pose". (How about 10 minutes on each side?)
So I think teaching these kids is going to teach me a LOT. It will be a very captivating month.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

The voice comes with time, but to make yourself heard over noisy children, take it down an octave or two, the higher it goes the more it disappears into the air and not he ears!!