Day 16

5:15 AM. 44 students I have to say, I am impressed. It is week three and everyone is still showing up! Things are starting to get a bit easier and the end(?) is in sight. It is the brightest week of the year and my body always eats up a consistent uninterrupted yoga practice. Heather, Debbie, and I made a video today. It is a half primary class and it will go online for students soon. The video is an introduction to the primary series. You will be able to practice the flow of the sequence and memorize the order of the postures while being led. It is short (45 minutes) so it will be perfect for traveling. 
I was nervous. I’ve made videos before and I wasn’t nervous. As soon as we dedicated the class to Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, I couldn’t remember a thing. I actually had to stop and start over; which has never happened. I thought, Guruji was rolling over in his grave; he doesn’t think I am good enough to teach this.
On some level I don’t feel qualified to teach Ashtanga yoga. I have practiced this style since 2001. I have been to Mysore 3 times and have my fourth trip booked. I have completed Richard Freeman’s month long intensive2x, and I have studied in Sri Lanka with Kathy Cooper. I have taken more short intensives than I can count. I have gone to practice with the Jois family just about every time they are in New York. So what’s the problem?
There used to be all sorts of rules about who could teach the Ashtanga style and who couldn’t. I never fit the bill. You had to be able to complete second series and in order to do that you had to stand up from back bend….hmmm 7 fused vertebrae, not gonna happen, never gonna teach this! I didn’t mind. There are lots of things I don’t teach, sailing, calculus, and baking, just to name a few. 
So what happened? When Guruji passed, things started to change a bit and I got some encouragement to teach. Still I didn’t feel good enough (see a theme here?) but in the end I did, and I do. I love it. 
But a video? Now that’s eternal. Some Ashtanga teacher will look at it and find flaws in my count. They will notice that I talk too much or too little. They will see where I get a transition wrong….. 
I always tell my students it is a good thing when they have done the work, don’t feel ready to teach and do anyway. They share what they know, humbly, and with awareness that what they understand about yoga will change and grow. They are aware of a whole that can never be contained and is eternally recreating itself. Although I have been teaching yoga since 1996 we approached this video like a beginner. All three of us are aware of the vastness of the practice. I value my contribution and I feel valued. I absolutely love my co-teachers and our students.
At the same time I stood on the edge of yoga and peered in. Guruji was there and he was laughing, “Bad Lady,” he said and I just smiled and kept on breathing.

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