ANCORA IMPARO I AM STILL LEARNING
Like a bee seeking nectar, seek teachings everywhere. Like a deer, seek a quiet place to digest all that you have gathered." -Dzogchen Tantra
February 5th, 2011. I am a student of life a dedicated love anthropologist. I wear on my wrist Ancora Imparo words spoken by Michelangelo at the age of 75 years old. Translated this means "I am still learning". And anyone who knows me knows I take my love of learning seriously. I am dutifully always trying to live in a way that acknowledges the significance of each precious moment and what it teaches me.
The Yoga is always our best teacher. It stretches our mind muscle and teaches us how to connect with ourselves and accept the sense things make or make sense of things as they are. Its like working a puzzle which requires concentration and persistence in our bodies and in our hearts. It is not achieved without interest in our own learning.
So today start with the answer YES to all questions by opening up to the teachings that flow in your path whether they be good, difficult, interesting, or funny. Try to learn from all of them my friends! Keep close to heart some final inspiration from Michelangelo "And I hope that I may always desire more than I can accomplish." With heartfelt hope for us all to be students of life in the world with the desire to keep learning! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
PS Join me on retreat this year www.silviamordini.com Moab April 16-19, 2011 and Tuscany June 19-25, 2011 coming up!
MY "BEST" PRACTICE BY GUEST BLOGGER LAURA MILLS
December 1, 2101 My "Best" Practice? By Laura Mills, in the words of a New Yoga Teacher
When I was little, someone I admired advised me to achieve two objectives with my future: first, I must choose an endeavor that brings me happiness; and second, no matter what the endeavor, I must be my very best at it. Very shortly after I began teaching yoga, I knew this particular role model would be proud, for no endeavor of my past had shown me so much joy. But even now, more than six months into my teaching experience, the second objective trails a question mark.... Am I truly the best yoga teacher I can be at this point? And if not, how can I become so?
It's not a question of spending more time on class preparation. A yoga teacher can literally spend every moment sequencing poses and developing themes. Realistically, of course, that can't happen--and at this point, I believe I've found a place at which I reasonably weave together yoga teaching and practice with the other strands that together form my complete life, including the eating and sleeping, errands and chores, writing and reading, and other pursuits with which I enrich my time.
If I'm already reading, then, perhaps I should read more about yoga and yoga-related topics. Material abounds, for sure; one of the first things that struck me about teacher training, in fact, was the amount of reading material. Books about the fundamentals of yoga poses and the teaching of them, books on yogic philosophy, books on human anatomy, books on how to incorporate yoga into life off the mat...I confess that even now, six months after teacher training's end, I have yet to make my way through every last page. But even after I complete my first pass through this resource library, much more will remain to be read. Not long ago, for example, at a local bookstore I spotted shelf after shelf of translations of the Yoga Sutras (all different from the three I already own), the Upanisads, and the Bhagavad Gita, as well as books on different styles of yoga, yoga for various ailments and ages, and others. Yes, keeping the pages moving will always be an option.
But really, even while a stack of still-unread yoga books is never far away, I know that yoga-in-writing is really only a small part of what's left for me to learn. The more yoga I practice and the more yoga I teach, the more I feel as if I stand only at the beginning of a path that stretches infinitely ahead. Just connecting with other teachers and students teaches me new lessons all the time, like there's always one more way to sequence a class, one more way to incorporate a theme, one more reason why people come to yoga in the first place, and one more inspiration that brings them back class after class. In six months of teaching I have yet to leave the studio with the same mind with which I entered; at the very least, after every class I am strengthened in my knowledge that I don't know all that exists to know about yoga. And that I never will.
And actually, now that I think about it, perhaps keeping this very point at heart--with the greatest humility and the firmest commitment to yoga as a lifelong practice--is the essence of truly being my very best at this endeavor. Yes, I can continue putting my efforts into preparing classes, and I can pursue yoga-related reading whenever time allows. But I can also reaffirm my intention again and again to embrace my own studentship, letting myself just BE TAUGHT as life as a yoga teacher and everything else that I am unfolds. I can keep my heart open to the practice with the faith that, no matter how long I've been teaching, yoga will always have something left to teach me.
WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A YOGA STUDENT ADHIKARA BABY!
SEPTEMBER 16, 2010
Super Duper Namaste,
During the month of August I devoted myself to Adhikira. Adhikara translates as studentship. So this means I made a full-hearted effort to be a student of yoga. Martha McQuid says, “In Sanskrit, adhikara refers to being spiritually open, or ready, for spiritual study (in Sanskrit, Sadhana). It also implies a level of ownership and willingness to take responsibility, as well as dedication, for the subject that is being studied. (*More on adhikara below)
During that month I explored a wide variety of studios and tried over 20 teachers! I know we say that yoga is non-comparative, that on the mat we don’t compare ourselves to others, but how do we know without trying different teachers what we like a little bit better or what suits our tastes or personality. The point is to keep trying and give everyone a shot. Being a student of yoga means that you are open, dedicated and willing to try other teachers. It doesn’t mean that everyone’s style or personality is going to suit you. You might find some teachers more to your liking. But don’t stop trying, don’t refuse to have the pleasure of learning from someone new.
That’s the most important part. To be a student of yoga means to embrace everyone and be open to the holistic experience of what is possible. And to me it also means that each of us as students is responsible for making that class the best one of our lives! Being a great student of yoga is co-creating right along with your teacher the most delicious alchemy where we become yoga (yoked, in union). It is then when we are living our Namaste: the light of what is good in me sees and celebrates the light and goodness in you, and together we celebrate the beauty and love that exists within us and outside us! From my heart thank you to all the teachers at TBY that subbed for me, and special maholo, love and respect to all the students at TBY who opened their hearts to new teachers. I NAMASTE YOU! Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia
*ADHIKARA CONTINUED “Thus, a student that is brand new to yoga wouldn’t begin a practice in an advanced level class, despite excellent physical conditioning, or a background in dance or gymnastics. There is a linear rhythm to learning anything - music, mathematics, language. We always begin with simple ideas and then move forward into the complex. For example, when you learn a musical instrument, you don’t start by trying to play a Mozart concerto. We begin by learning the notes and where they fall in the musical staff, then fingerings, then scales, then simple tunes and over time with dedicated practice, Mozart! A newer student who pushes too hard can get an overload of this energy and not understand it or be able to contain it. In order to prepare the body to receive this energy, we take a methodical approach to practice. In yoga philosophy, this idea is supported in The Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali 1:14 which is translated as ‘steady practice over a long period of time.” Now apply this to a new yoga instructor. They are trying their best, and the only way they can get better is if you allow them to practice and grow. I promise you they will exceed your expectations if you just give them even just a little while to evolve.