Yesterday I spent the day with yoga teacher and teacher trainer, Mitchel Bleier for his workshop at yogaview, and I am grateful for the experience.
In the afternoon practice, he taught a class using what I perceived to be a forceful voice. It worked for me because it got me moving. Also in the morning session he had reminded the group that the word "Hatha" in Hatha Yoga means "to force" so from this rooted understanding it made sense.
In yoga I do want to change something, and shake it up! In particular what I am working to shift is my relationship with myself. My self when regarded as my soul, or who I am, is without question because it is the mystery. What is suspect is my interpretation of myself, especially when I am trying too hard to tame my nature and hide my love.
What was so great about the afternoon practice is that the "force" of the practice brought me to a really open place. I felt insecurities and sadness that I've gotten pretty good at hiding from coming up midway through the backbend sequence. And then after doing tons of backbends we sat (actually lying on our backs) there for a while in that place while Mitchel said some words about the experience that included the word "doubt" which made me chuckle involuntarily. Noticing my reaction, I thought about how I do doubt my loving feelings. It was a realization.
I am left with a sense of how important it might be to be with that lovely openness--and not to counter-pose too soon. When I release that backbend high too soon with a comforting forward fold I might be missing out on an opportunity to experience myself in this expanded way.
I also admired the way Mitchel had the courage to hold the class for these kinds of moments. In my own teaching sometimes I think I might feel too much of an obligation to keep things moving and the group entertained when really each individual has so much to offer for their own experience of themselves.