The Work of the Day
Every day of the week at AT school we have a different teacher. Even though there is an overall theme of the week that each teacher explores, they do it in their own way, with their own emphasis and their own set of concerns. This means that every day the content and process of what we are learning is a little different. It also means that, every day, we are getting new information as to what to work on in ourselves. One day the feedback might be to release the calves into the backs of the knees, the next it might be to inhibit pushing the pelvis forward. At first it was frustrating. You would end the day with a thought in your head and a bunch of ideas as to how you would continue the work the next day. Then the next day comes and you are thinking about your calves as you get a hands-on turn and the teacher of the day directs you to focus on your pelvis. Sometimes even within a three-hour class you are being given different sets of feedback as the primary and secondary teachers give you short one-on-one turns.
It’s been a lesson in how the mind (or at least my mind) looks for certainty, for structure and continuity, even within the context of learning and exploring new knowledge. Perhaps some of this comes from being so self-directed within my own yoga practice. I tend to have the occasional epiphany in my practice which I will then pick apart and systematically explore in a number of different situations over a period of weeks or months. Sometimes the study leads to additional revelations along the same lines, sometimes a brand new inspiration comes in and turns me to a new course of study.
Having to be open to such constant and shifting feedback is a new and challenging experience. I find I have to wipe the slate clean at the beginning of each session and be open to whatever new comes in, to the work of the day.