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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Boundary of Love

It's almost mid terms at NIC, I had to have the talk with the students about absences and how I grade them. I have the reputation of being the strictest yoga teacher for absences, I am. Not because I'm a crazed don't care teacher, but because I'm a crazed love my students kind of teacher. The first day a tone is set for the class, a container is formed for learning, a container that hopefully sets up a clear boundary for freedom of expression, freedom to make mistakes, freedom to know that we are all in this together and we will persevere in the midst of the normal things that come up when you begin a yoga class. The boundaries set at the beginning of class are for protection not punishment, a boundary of love. I remember my first yoga class, it was terrifying to walk into-- TERRIFYING, I sat next to the bitch who could do every pose, and then add her own flair, I felt about 2 inches tall, and about 1000 pounds. Her pony tail perfect, her outfit perfect, her body perfect, and her yoga PERFECT-- I hated her... but I came back, because the minute we began to chant I felt a connection to something I could not explain, I knew that on my mat, in the midst of self hatred, the midst of not feeling good enough, I did feel good, and I knew I did not want that to end, skiny perfect yoga bitch or not. My teacher created a boundary for me, and I knew that if I ever became a teacher I would want students to feel safe, protected and worthy of each movement. The reality is, most of the kids take yoga because they think it will be easy, they are not really searching for meaning, or the big picture, they aren't the least bit ready for a heart opening, but maybe that is exactly why the process of yoga at NIC works, because they are not expecting the beauty of what is happneing and they, surrounded by the boundary of love , feel safe enough to open to it. We are studying the Bhagavad Gita this semester-- a very blessed book, with blessed ideas of understanding self worth, love, selfless service, wisdom, and action-- but most of all the idea of STANDING UP, in the Gita, there is no choice of whether you step into your life, the choice comes as to what kind of life you want-- you're already in it-- Stand Up and Live Your Life. It seems to be working, the kids listen intently and they are starting to see the parallels between them and Arjuna. Without the boundary of love, I don't know if we could dive this deep into this text, get deep enough into the safety of their hearts-- so yes, I am the strict teacher about showing up, but again just like the Gita, Stand Up and Life Your Life--

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