I am one of those people that "responds" to yoga. I don't mean that I can put my toes in my ears, or my nose to my shins. I mean that something in my psyche really reacts to letting go of competition and judgement.
Sometimes when I am struggling to get into a pose, I start thinking about accepting my limitations in the pose, and I'll close my eyes to draw my focus inward rather than trying to compete with the hypermobile woman in front of me. When I do this, I often release a few tears, or a loud sigh to dissipate the tension. A bit embarassing to some, but that's just what happens. When I close my eyes, I don't have to worry about people looking at me, or judging me, because I can't see them.
If I can get to that acceptance state, I can relax into the pose wherever I am, and hold it for ages. If I can't get to that state, I continue to struggle and wobble and fall over. I wake up the next morning sore, frustrated.
I am feeling that struggle with my yoga apprenticeship. The harder I try, the more I feel like I'm fighting it. I'm just not there yet. I can do the poses and say the cues, but I can't sell it when I urge people to let go. Because I haven't let go yet.
So last night I wobbled and fell over. After finishing my yoga class, I went to my mentor Heidi, prepared to ask her what I should prepare for my segment of Monday's class. Instead I just started to cry. I had no idea that was going to happen. But it did and it felt great.
Heidi chuckled at my embarassment, telling me that it's great I'm having such a "yoga response" to my experience with the apprenticeship. She likened my experience to her own 10 years ago, when she started out from her fitness instructor background. Her studio kept her as an apprentice for almost 2 years because they didn't believe she was "there" yet. But nobody told her what they really thought, and she never clued in herself to what was holding her back. She's an amazing instructor now, and a wonderful mentor.
She told me to keep coming twice a week, just to reestablish my own practice. She said anytime I felt like it, I could walk around and help her with adjustments, or teach part of the class. No pressure, no deadlines.
I walked away feeling like a million bucks.