As a slightly larger than usual crew filled the gallery at Camelot for the early morning session my game plan started to feel a little silly.
As everyone took to their mats with their scarves as requested, I noticed some uncertain faces in the group. We started in the usual way, laying with eyes closed, which gave me a few moments to reconsider... 'could I really expect the lovely yogis in front of me to wear a blind fold for the next hour and a bit...no questions?'
As I settled into my words and the anxieties disappeared, I reclaimed my composure and began to delve into the intention behind taking away the students choice to open their eyes during the entire practice. I asked for trust to be found, surrender to be executed and a focus to move towards letting creativity flourish.I smile now thinking back on the class as all of my above requests were surely met.
The class consisted of the basics, a sequence of asana that we practice regularly. The lack of uniqueness in postures was surely forgotten as students physical bodies took on very abstract variations of their usually consistent poses. I indeed felt way out of my comfort zone at this point, with no reason to be anywhere near my mat I made my way to the back of the room and watched closely. My usual standard of cueing is already quite intense, but as I watched students hover in uncertainty as I lead them into their first high lunge I realised how much more I needed to give.
As we got into the practice I felt the energy change, the anxiety and frustration that we were all holding on to in the beginning of the practice slowly diminished. For me the present moment was magnified, and students seemed connected to their own practice. External approval was no longer relevant for any of us, the approval and contentment started to arise from within.
Pratyahara, withdrawal of senses, is one of the 8 limbs of yoga. Bringing this into play in our practice we move from the outside in, we find a refined awareness of self. The ability to surrender and tune in to our true feelings engulfs us like a huge wave whether we are inviting or not. At the end of the practice I felt a renewed sense of gratitude for our ability to see. As a teacher for the ease it gives in explanation, as a yogi for the extra stability and confidence in my practice, and as a human the beautiful things, the light and the movement that I am able to experience everyday.
Thank you to the yogis that joined this class, it was lovely to be trusted to guide you through the darkness. I welcome your feedback and for those that missed it, would you like to see (excuse the pun!) this run again?