A community is a group of interacting organisms

Last week a wave of depression nearly toppled me. Out of nowhere, I lost my grounding and felt dark and lost. That night I was scheduled to teach Hatha Basics, yet as the time approached, I wondered if I should teach, feeling that way. One simple tweet later, and within minutes I was overwhelmed with suggestions, pep talks, and support. These are the tweets, in the order they arrived.

@scotta_yoga @jodim being honest, vulnerable, & open to a shift
–>Just reading that, I felt my energy shift. Being open to a shift changed my energy and made a shift sound possible.
@inthejuice @jodim Literally take a few deep breaths and give yourself a pep talk. Tell yourself ‘who am I not to be brilliant?’
–>Breathing. The initiation of the practice. Breathing shifts your energy.
@inthejuice @jodim know that it’s ok not to talk so much in class (esp if the group is more experienced) make it more about the sound of their breath.
–>The class was a Basics class, so I didn’t know if I could do that. But I chose to teach Chandra Namaskar, and it’s so about linking breathing and movement. I have taught it silently before, after cueing through the first two or three repetitions. It’s so meditative, it can be a unifying group meditation in motion.
@SarahKohl @jodim Honestly? Accepting & admitting that I’m not feeling it. Suit up and show up and teach anyway. Teachers are human, too.#365yoga
–>I knew I had to suit up and show up. It was only my fourth time teaching this class. It wouldn’t be okay to miss it, I thought. Sometimes showing up is the greatest effort. But just showing up helped.
@dawnmnewton @jodim Recalling how marveously excited I felt when I 1st discovered what I am teaching. Then knowing that I will give others this feeling.
–>This tweet made me cry. Dawn is the one person in this group who isn’t a yoga teacher. She is a chef. Just thinking about what she said let me think about being a student again. I would so love to study culinary arts. Though I feel that kind of awe about yoga, thinking about where she was coming from helped me shift my perspective and imagine being a beginner again. And I thought about my first yoga classes and the awe I felt. I was really starting to get over my darkness.
@yidl No secret Surrender- Ishvara Pranidhana- Patanjali RT @jodim:Teachers.what’s your secret for teaching when you are feeling down #365yoga.
–>Totally. This tweet made me think about the magic that happens when you start to channel something profound. When teaching becomes a spiritual experience of sorts, when you are totally in it, and you don’t even know where the words are coming from. Would it be possible, I thought, to surrender and trust that it would be okay?
@riverfairyyoga @jodim My YT told me to teach the class I need. There is a great power in saying the words u need to hear, students tend to respond positive
–>I decided to take this approach. I thought about what I would wish to walk into as a student. That’s when I decided to teach chandra namaskar. It was the eve of a full moon, and apparently the most depressing day of the year, I found out later. Pranayama, and meditative moment sounded soothing to me, and I hoped it would be soothing to the students. @Chandih @yidl @jodim : The secret for me is balance. That is to rest, nurture and meditate more. It gives me the inspiration and insights. @jodim following you now. Salt Lk city Yogini. Wow. Not many of u, in morman country?? Aum-
–>This has always been my teaching philosophy. Teach from your overflow, not from your well. Even if you are nurturing yourself, teaching can deplete your energy. It can also recharge you. Hard to recharge before that class. I didn’t feel like I was depleted and had nothing to give, though. Just depressed.
@katsaks Kat Saks @jodim I second @SarahKohl . Also, I make a point not to give physical adjustments when I’m not feeling it. Then they feel it too!#365yoga
–>This one was hard. I had spent the weekend studying with Simon Park. Just the day before, he taught a workshop about hands on assisting for vinyasa teachers. I was all excited to practice what I’d just learned. My ego wanted to offer that. But I knew she was right. Yet, I believe, even if you don’t touch students, when you’re off, they can feel it.

I showed up. And the magic happened. Ten people showed up. We created a situation that will never be repeated. We all contributed something to it. The class came together for an hour, then dispersed. I think maybe I got more out of it than they did. But that’s okay!

This was the playlist:

Intention [feat Morley], Earthrise SoundSystem, The Yoga Sessions

Desh Nayad [feat Lital Gabai], Earthrise SoundSystem, The Yoga Sessions

Bolo Ram, Wah!, Putumayo Presents Yoga

Hanuman Baba (Dub Farm Remix), Krishna Das, Putumayo Presents Yoga

Mangalam [fet Steve Gorn], Go-Ray & Duke, The Yoga Sessions

Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Pt. 1, The Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots

Salala, Angelique Kidjo Feat. Peter Gabriel, Yoga Revolution

Bliss, Yogini, Putumayo Presents Yoga

Love Is My Religion (Album Version), Ziggy Marley, Yoga Revolution

On Sunday, roles reversed. I got to be the student to a teacher who was having a hard time. One of my beloved teachers admitted to us, as she began the class, that she was off. She had a confrontation that had left her feeling almost incapable of teaching, and she thought that she needed to get a sub. But in the class, she recharged. You could see it happening, and it was almost instantaneous. It was a beautiful gift to give her, because she has offered us all so much.

So it comes full circle.

And I felt so grateful to be teaching again, to experience the magic that happens when teaching yoga when you can hold space for others. And it most certainly works both ways. Walking in to a room full of quiet students meditating? Amazing. What a gift. Instant energy shift.

4 thoughts on “A community is a group of interacting organisms

  1. I recently heard Pema Chodron on her CD, “Unconditional Confidence” speak of “cradling with love” those parts of ourselves that we are having trouble with. I’ve followed her suggestion many times and am so grateful for her generous, compassionate spirit.
    Thank you for sharing your experience and for following me on Twitter….

  2. Thanks Jamie. I love that suggestion of cradling with love. Coincidentally, I was reading Pema today: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times. Loving it!

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