Friday, May 15, 2009

Small Victories

Small steps. That's how yoga works. The Sanskrit is krama: you begin on whatever step is right for you, and move up, slowly, consistently, with effort or abhyasa, with willingness not to know, or at least try to postpone, the need to know where the staircase is taking you, or vairagyam.

Then, kshema. (It helps to pronounce this word if you have either a good Spanish jota or a Hebrew challah or chaim. Sounds like this: kk (with that gutteral ch sound)-shay-mah.) Meaning: maintaining the progress or the change or the effort that was required to get to that step.

This morning: six students in class at the new studio. Willingness to chant OM or AHHH (my fallback offering for those who prefer, for so many different reasons, not to chant Sanskrit). Willingness to laugh at my joke, even though slightly prompted by me. And I detected, for the first time, willingness to try once to exhale with the mouth open - a good technique for relieving stress - but until today, either a no-go or so quiet that I could not hear it happening. And after class, a student stopped to ask me a question. Huge change, tiny movement to the next step for the students and me. Now, kshema: going slow, still unraveling the tangle of how to teach to students who live only five miles away from the other studio, but might be halfway across the world for the subtle cultural differences and personalities.

And Hat #3 of 4 done. Pictures tomorrow. Now, crab cake, baked potato, peas, and then some Office from Netflix and some knitting.

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