By Edith Lazenby
Yes I have fire.
I am told I am too commanding. I am told I bark. And I take a big sigh and step back and know I must change. I have an edge and I know its roots; so given that, I am making changes.
I always say everything is optional.
I do more hands on assists—in fact now I try to touch everyone if I can. I read a poem. I stay light. I am not a mom so my students have been my mirror.
This edge is not the core of me at all. I am loving, open, caring and compassionate. I thrive on watching proper alignment and beautifully executed poses. I also know the details don’t matter.
What matters in my class is whether or not you feel good about yourself as a student and a person. What matters is that you are having fun. What matters is if you are working at the level you need to on any given day. Are you listening to your body and your breath?
I must keep you safe, but chances are your body knows more than my eyes.
Before class, I always ask if students would rather not be touched.
How does all this feedback make me feel? Like I have come a long way and have a long way to go.
I care about doing things the right way, but every day is different and every body is different and some things just take the time they take. I can teach how to lower down safely from plank over and over, and believe me I have and still a student does not get it.
I show them once. Support them. Then let it go.
Attitude, action and alignment are the three A’s in Anusara, and of those three, attitude comes first and foremost. Being a Pitta in yoga has its drawbacks but I won’t give up. This is my passion. And I can change and grow and learn and improve always.
There are worse things than feeling misunderstood. In this case it would be worse if I did not see the edge in myself and could or would not change.
So I choose to grow in how I teach on the mat and to take that edge off the mat and keep it softer.
Editor: Dana Gornall