Balance – It’s not all love and light (#sol18 Day 24/31)

I’m in Telluride this weekend for a yoga continuing education course with the spectacular Gina Caputo.

You might think, between the other week’s Chicago jaunt and this weekend’s journey, that I travel a bunch for yoga. You’d be wrong. My yoga education has, up until this month, been in my own backyard. I am lucky to live in a place that excellent teachers want to visit, and I try to take advantage of that bonus perk as much as I can. These are my first travel-to-yoga trips…and they both just happen to be in March so you get to read all about them! When the timing’s right you just gotta go, ya know?

I’ve taken classes and workshops with Gina before, and it was my memories of her knowledge, experience, humor, trustworthiness, accessibility, and general all-around awesomeness that threw me into my car at five o’clock this morning to drive down to Telluride.

We had four hours of class today, and my hand and forearm totally cramped up from taking all of the notes that I possibly could. If I don’t write things down, then they don’t really stick, so my journal and plethora of pens come with me wherever I go.

Themes from today’s class include: Honoring the whole by honoring opposites and polarities; Balancing effort and ease; Realizing that nothing that happens in your body goes unnoticed by your mind (and vice versa); Being passionately aware of your tendencies and being inquisitive of how you identify yourself; Making your practice (and your students’ practices) sustainable; Shedding light on the kleshas, or the root causes of all suffering.

Ya know…light and easy topics of inquiry.

I have a notebook full of actionable steps and a heart full of big questions. My brain is going to be digesting these nuggets of deliciousness for quite some time.

My world of teaching yoga often overlaps my world of teaching first and second grade, and today’s class was no exception. In particular, our morning’s klesha discussion about raga and dvesha, or attachment and aversion, sent my mind directly to the conversations I have at school with my students about managing disappointment.

I made this for my class last year, and have referred to it daily.

While it may seem easy to coach six, seven, and eight year olds through this emotional management business, it’s a little more challenging to turn that coaching lens inwards and examine your own habits and reactions when things don’t go your way.

Without going into the nitty gritty details, my head and my heart have been reeling for the last two days. Today’s class offered me glimpses into thought organization, the permission to ask and ponder questions that are much bigger than myself, and the reminder that balancing polarities is the level path to find. Things don’t always have to be rainbows and unicorns. The light isn’t as clear without the dark by which it’s measured. It’s just as okay to cry as it is to laugh (in fact, I often do both of those things at the same time). There can be bumps in the road, uncertainties, different opinions, obstacles, and… things will still be okay.

As Gina says, “This, too, I can use.”


12 thoughts on “Balance – It’s not all love and light (#sol18 Day 24/31)

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  1. You do always have a choice. It is the beauty of being a human being. I think owning our choices sometimes makes us feel more human than ever because it exposes our vulnerabilities and ideologies. Because not all have the same choices and ownerships of said choices, it causes society to shift. But how boring would it be if we did not have choices? I know that I would hate it.

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  2. So much to think about in here. I appreciate how you link your learning in yoga to your teaching in the classroom, and I especially appreciate how you distill the lessons in the final paragraph. I love Gina’s phrase: “This, too, I can use.” I’ll be thinking about these ideas for a while. Thanks.

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  3. I love so much about this!

    I love the anchor chart. I love that in the end, it shows where we need to be- even though our path to that place might be long and rock-filled.

    I love the recognized theme that we need to be “passionately aware of your tendencies and being inquisitive of how you identify yourself” maybe partly because it relates to a blog I have in progress and partly because it’s been on my mind lately.

    I love that you acknowledge it’s not all rainbows, unicorns, daisies, and sunshine without being morose. Those polarities give perspective.

    So much wisdom in one small post. So glad you shared your learning with us!

    Liked by 1 person

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