“Relax,” he told me as he somehow wiggles my hip around to start to put it back into half lotus for for marichyasana B. I have a bit of surrealness. I feel like saying to him, “Ummm….this is Ashtanga yoga, we do not relax, we work really hard!” However, the sound of his New Zealand/Guruji accent is rather calming and miraculously, I relax. My hip falls open a bit more and he manages to somehow wiggle my hips so it comes forward and that crushing knee pain of late – totally gone! I have been babying sad knees for the last couple of weeks. I started doing lotus recently and it seems that instead of my hip actually being open enough to do the pose, I just just made my knee open in nasty ways. No good. So my knee pain suddenly disappearing in one of the poses that causes the knee pain was miraculous to me. He sat with me propping up my knees and legs in a way that just worked and then pulled my arm around to bind.
The whole weekend was like that. He brought softness to a practice that does not tend to be soft. He had a roomful of 30+ students and he somehow knew when to say to me, “B, wait me.” or “energy dropped, you finish now.” I was only just finishing marichyasana C and I usually go to bhujapidasana. The best part of the weekend was that Alex and I splurged had a baby-sitter for Walter so we got to practice side by side instead of doing the mysore two step where one of us practices and then the other does. There is some lovely intimacy when you get to do your practice next to your partner. I hadn’t seen his practice in so long so it was fun to watch to see how it had progressed not to mention that there is something incredibly hot about him all sweaty and shirtless, but this blog is G rated so I digress.
It is interesting the interplay between guest teachers and your everyday teacher. I have some wonderful everyday teachers. They know my practice and me pretty well. They have a good sense of when to push me and when to just back off and see where it goes. When you spend 6 days a weeks with them it is good to get along with them and enjoy their company! However, I also enjoy the guest teachers. They also have something to offer, some new insight about something that for whatever reason just hadn’t clicked with me before. People are excited and the room is full. The energy is just lovely. People are happy. Each teacher always manages to shake up my practice just a bit and add something of their own to it, even when I come away with the thought that I don’t care for them at all. Then I go back to my regular teachers and they explain that thing to me again, and again and then help me really use it in my practice. It’s a good balance.