Day two of teacher training was glorious. It is the rainy season here in Yokohama and in most of Japan and just whet I thought I would never dry out, the sun came out today and with it a lovely breeze. I felt so happy.
Of course , John used the weather to teach his theme. He said that “wasn’t it nice to wake up and open the curtains today to sunshine after all that rain? ” But would you appreciate the sun if it was sunny everyday? The fact that we have opposites creates more joy in us. You can go back to my old blog from last year on the bathtub story if you want to go deeper on that.
Sun/rain, night/day, male/female, strength/sensitivity- all these seemingly opposing things can be used to teach us. By teaching contrary compliments ie.effort and surrender – you find the place of the middle. Why is the middle important? Because the middle is where the grey is- where the place between opposites becomes fuzzy- and this is where we have revelations- awakenings. For example- if I try too hard in backbend I get all tight and then my shoulders lock up more. If I surrender – with no effort- I can’t get my arms straight. But if I play the place of the middle- work hard to get up and then soften a little, bend my elbows a bit and then again put effort into my shoulders- I start open up more. More than if I had just done one or the other. Its a dance between the two.
Raising kids is kind of like that. If I push them too hard they rebel- if I don’t push them at all they think I don’t care. I have to learn when to push and when to back off to stay in a balanced relationship with them. What’s interesting is that what needs effort and what needs surrender will change as they grow from young children, to pre teens, to teenagers- nothing stays exactly the same. It is a constantly changing dynamic. So it is the same in our bodies. That’s why we need both- the place of the middle- what is optimal in the relationship- can change. That is why it is a dance- it flows and moves.
The students did a lot of demo teaching today. Very hard on the spot stuff. I tried to go over in my head what I would have said or done and wonder how I would react to the pressure of being on the spot in front of John like that. I think Neely from Hong Kong did a brilliant job. Props to Neely!
The Japanese students seemed a little stuck today- I honestly think they did better last year. I think what has happened is that their technical knowledge has gone up in a year and so now they are a bit stuck in their heads. I can relate to that. I have been working on that more this year and I am still trying to do it with consistency. My poor girlfriend Tomoko got very flustered and start to tear up- I felt so awful for her. It really can be difficult- huge pressure.
I spent the break with the merry band doing a delicious hip opener practice. Thank God. I was expecting dwi pada back-bends and all sorts of crazy stuff. I feel the advice on my shins John has given me starting to work and my ardha chandrasana on my left side, that is usually weak, feels more stable. Marc did some therapeutic work on my psoas during the break- OUCH- painful. Apparently mine is tight. He did one side and then we went back to lecture so I sat for two hours before he did the other side and it felt so weird- I could feel more circulation on the side he had worked on. I am going to have to beg Carol for a once a week psoas adjustment!
I finished up today with laundry and dinner at my computer. Glamorous isn’t it? I sat at the laundry mat dreaming up opposites: clean/dirty, wet/dry, whites/darks- and then watched all my clothes dance together in the dryer. I think I should have had dinner before I did laundry……