So What Has Changed?

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I just conducted my 500th yoga class yesterday since I started teaching last June of 2012. I kept track of it at DAILYMILE. Exactly 315 classes with other styles (vinyasa flow, hatha, restorative, yin, kids yoga), and 185 Ashtanga Primary series classes and counting.

So what has changed?

 

cecilia16Photo Credit: Cecilia Valmoria Alumbro

 

From the nervous instructor who can’t teach a class without a copy of the sequence of the poses, from the insecure instructor who feels threatened especially when seasoned practitioners join her class, from the alignment crazy instructor who lectures and corrects her students on almost every pose, from the instructor-from-hell who tortures her students when they dare question her methods, from the inconsistent instructor who only joins classes of her fellow instructors, and calls it a home practice… What has changed?

I should say a lot.

 

cecilia73Photo Credit: Cecilia Valmoria Alumbro

 

I’m proud to say that I’ve finally memorized the Ashtanga Primary Series.  I’m proud to say that when seasoned practitioners join my class, I welcome them with an open mind and an open heart. Open to criticisms, both constructive and not so constructive. Taking advantage of their presence to demonstrate poses that I’m still having difficulties with, and learn their techniques and best practices.

I’m proud to say that I don’t see any of my students as someone whom I need to fix anymore; either in their poses or in how they choose to see everything around them. I’m proud to say that I don’t torture my students anymore out of revenge. Okay many of you might object on that. Let me explain that I did not choose the Ashtanga sequence to be that way. It’s just as it is, and has always been that way since its creation.

And last but not the least, I’m very proud to say that I have now a consistent home practice as compared to before. Maybe not as ideal as it should be, but a solitary practice that suits my sanity nonetheless.

For about two (2) months, I used to practice at 4:30 AM from Sundays to Fridays except on Moon Days and on the first three (3) days of my period.  But having that routine made my days even shorter, as it already is. When I followed this ideal routine, I would always need a nap in the afternoon which I intend to last for an hour but almost always last for three (3). Thus, giving me less time for the things that I should be doing. And because I’d have to wake up at 4:00 AM-ish, it would mean I’d have to be in bed by 8:00 PM which means, I don’t get to watch my favorite shows on TV anymore.

So I recently decided to move my self-practice at 3:00 PM instead. This way, I won’t have any need for
an afternoon nap, and I get to start my Beginner’s Running Program in the morning. And I decided to cut my six-days a week practice into just three (3) at least, so as to give my body a rest, as I’m starting to have pains on my right wrist.

So what has changed? As I said above that a lot has changed, yet at the same time, not so much.

 

cecilia79Photo Credit: Cecilia Valmoria Alumbro

 

I still have these loved and hated “love handles” here and there; my arms are still the “braso-de-mercedes” that they were before contrary to those lean arms that most Ashtangi’s have, there are still about ten (10) poses that I could not get in and out of in the Primary Series, I still feel like crying when doing Urdhva Dhanurasana. And I’m still talking about things that I should’ve gotten over with already, like the ones above which stroke my ego and hurt my pride at the same time.

 

cecilia94Photo Credit: Cecilia Valmoria Alumbro

 

However, the unseen things that significantly changed in me are far greater than the things that are obviously still the same.

Like I said in my previous posts, I was just barely holding poses for five (5) breaths or eight (8), or ten (10), yet I realize that I’m becoming a person who is kinder, gentler, more loving, more joyful, more considerate and more forgiving.

And since I’m more considerate and more forgiving now than before, I limit “only teaching Ashtanga and no other style”  to the walls of the Namaskar Yoga Shala. So when I’m outdoors surrounded by beautiful trees, I strike my best tree pose ever, and grab another to do fun partner yoga poses with. When there’s a beautiful swimming pool, I’d be the first one to dive in and lead fun aqua yoga poses until my fingers and toes wrinkle.

 

cecilia111Photo Credit: Cecilia Valmoria Alumbro



So what has changed? A lot, yet not so much. But I’m becoming more like me every time.

 

 

 

The photos were taken @ Bukidnon Country Lodge. One of the many perks of being a yoga instructor is being taken to beautiful places, all expenses paid, and at the same time building friendship with beautiful souls. More photos HERE.