“Take a Deep Breath. March on or around those who inhibit you. Dismiss whatever insults your soul”
As the Summer Solstice arrives and the heat intensifies, it is a good time to simply find shade. According to the Charaka Samhita, summer is the time when our bodies are at their weakest. The digestive fire is low and the intense heat reminds us to rest more, stay cool and ease off the hard (sweaty noon time) practices. Enjoy the beautiful early mornings and the long summer evenings walking in the gardens, in the mountains or swimming in the creeks. Take time to be still in nature, sit on porches late into the eve, revive the art of conversation.
It is also a time that brings great light to shadow, and astrologically speaking, we are travelling through some old Karmic knots, with an opportunity to rewrite the story.
Besides finding shady canyons and swimming in the creeks, I have been a mix of introspection and fiery outspoken truth. Or as my friend so lovingly told me, I have something he calls ‘Fierce Integrity’.
And I no longer apologize for it.
Recently someone used testimonial written by a student of mine, about me, but deleted my name and used it to advertise one of their programs. Simply put ~ that’s unethical.
And besides being angry, it made me really reflect on all of my years of Yoga practice, What it has meant to me, Why I started teaching in the first place, Why I offered the very first yoga teacher training in Prescott back in early 2000 and Why I continued to do trainings all these years. And with the yoga world today being such a shit show (lying, sabotaging, stealing, raping, molesting…to name a few prevalent problems)…the big question comes
‘Do I ever want to teach again??’
And of course, these thoughts bring me back to Swami Vishnu Devananda and why he started Yoga Teacher trainings so long ago. It was not about his ego or making rent at the studio or cranking out a bunch of unqualified teachers (would you want your massage therapist or doctor to only have 200 hours of training?)
Instead it was a vision. Swami Vishnu recognized that unless we had some deeper connection to self, some sense of peace within, we would never find it outside. He knew that yoga and meditation were ways to tap into that source and to find balance in a world that is so completely out of balance.
It is a way to access our own divinity.
And my teaching has always been seva for myself and for others. It has been my barometer for truth and integrity. I didn’t teach what I didn’t do, and I was not and won’t ever be just an asana teacher. More than the pose, I have always been most interested in the internal landscape. I am more interested in people having a sincere and authentic life, full of all its vulnerability, messiness and brilliance, than a ‘Poser of yoga’ who knows how to look the part.
And I will admit, I am thoroughly enjoying this break from teaching. It is a privilege to teach, but it does take a lot of energy and time, and often it isn’t truly appreciated.
So as this brilliant light bakes my desert home, I am allowing it to bake my heart a little with the question
‘Do I still want to teach?’
The answer is yes, but it needs to look a lot different.
I will still offer my Yavapai College Yoga class in the Fall (if anyone is interested there is still room) but I am making a commitment to only serious students. No more drop in classes.
I am also planning some workshops for Yoga and Ayurveda starting in the Fall and I am going back to offering Yoga Teacher Training Programs and Immersions, but with a minimum of 500 hours training. For any student that has already done 200 hours, they can still register with a discounted price and reap the benefit of more in- depth practice.
And remember I am not interested in cranking out yet another teacher. I am interested in individuals cultivating an authentic voice and sense of deep self.
If you are interested, or if you have requests, please let me know, since I am in the beginning, planning stage.
And my Private practice and Ayurvedic consultations/Treatments are always full and steady but I can make room if you are in need.