For the last co-taught class by our Fall 2017 YTT students (now teachers!), I led the part of class called the log. The log is 8-10 min of sheer joy (said everyone who was there on Friday!). LOL. The log is the part of class where we bring the students to their edge by inviting them to hold certain poses for a longer period of time (45 seconds to 1 min for my poses). So the teacher tries to soften the edge by telling stories or giving interesting information about the poses. Here is what I wrote for our Celebration Log!
In this part of class we get to go on an adventure together. My niece and I talked about adventures over thanksgiving. We were trying to find the best spot to watch the Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City. We had to go around blocked off areas, smash our way through crowds of people, take a long hike in the opposite direction of the parade to circle back up and around. We decided that because of all these obstacles, we call it an adventure. Otherwise, it would just be a venture. So let’s add our first pose to make this a thrilling adventure!
Pose: come up onto all fours and on an exhale engage your abdominal muscles and lift your right arm and left leg. Spinal Balance Pose. Now hold.
The YTT students have been on an adventure together this fall. Before class began, We might have thought this is easy—I got this—but then we began to realize that even a simple pose like raising an arm and leg can be difficult if you hold it long enough…
Pose: lower your hand and leg and press back into downward dog. Now lift your right leg and step it through between your hands leaving your back heel off the ground and rise us into crescent lunge.
So, we led our first Sun A and thought we might die trying but as we dove deeper…with each breath lower your back knee until you are 2 “ above the mat and hold. Like I said, as we dove deeper into the minute details of how to teach each pose everything we thought we knew became mixed up like SPAGHETTI.
Pose: Exhale your hands to the mat. Step your foot back and come into plank position. Now lower yourself into forearm plank and hold.
The cool thing is that while we felt low….so low to the ground like you feel right now….we realized that Mother Earth was supporting us and then we looked around and saw 8 pairs of eyes sending loving kindness and wishing us success. Those same eyes are sending loving kindness to you right now!
Pose: Now turn your right palm to the middle of your chest and stack your ankle lifting your left arm up to the ceiling in side plank.
We did have some 1 on 1 eye gazing time where we divided into partners, sat knee to knee and gazed into each other’s eyes for what seemed like eternity like side plank feels right now. Now, let’s make it more intense by raising the top leg! Many things are intense like staring into a new friend’s eyes for 10 min. Our edges are all different. Some find strength edgy others find vulnerability edgy. But we are all guided to our edge if we are open.
Pose: Come back to forearm plank and move onto your belly. Bend your knees bringing your feet to your hips and grab your ankles. Use your legs to pull your upper body off the ground in bow pose.
Pose: Now find your way to child’s pose
Here is one things that I learned at the Edge…this is a quote from Adam Kurtz
While others may have similarities, only you are you. There’s no need to soften or placate or compromise. Be personal, raw and passionate. Be that true self as loud as you can to drown out any voices trying to silence you, including your own.
Now, let’s do the other side!
Pose: come up onto all four, engage your abdominals and lift your left arm and right leg for spinal balance on the opposite sides.
We are ½ way there, my friends! At the ½ way point of our training, we looked back and saw that what was hard 6 weeks ago was so easy that we could do it in our sleep. Our edge had moved. But our adventure continued and we chased the edge. We had co taught 2 classes together and had fun doing it. Is anyone having fun here tonight??? Shout YAY!!
Pose: lower your hand and foot to the mat, push back into downward dog. Lift your left leg and place it in between your hands. Keep your back heel off the mat and raise your arms to the ceiling for crescent lunge.
Gaining wisdom is not easy and we listened to our teachers like children with arms outstretched. We read books & researched the benefits of poses but true wisdom is gained from experience so we leaned into the last month together. Following your next several breaths, lean into the pose by lowering your back knee until it is hovering over the mat. Lean in. We are here. You can do it.
Pose: place your hands down on the mat, step your foot back and come down to forearm plank.
We are almost at our end. I know that I have mixed emotions because we have spent so much time learning together and now it is over. There is relief…like you are going to feel in 2 min! We feel excitement about what’s next. We feel sadness that this shared journey, this one path, now divides into many. We are experiencing the truth that all things are impermanent.
Pose: move your left palm to the middle of your chest stacking your feet and opening up your body to the right side in side plank. Raise your right arm up to the ceiling.
So becoming present to each moment without attachment is the key, but this takes practice. Richard Rohr says, “You will be a witness to your own transformation. It will ask everything of you, but it will also give everything to you.” Raise your top leg.
Pose: come down onto your belly bending your knees and grab your ankles for bow pose. This time use your arms to bring your ankles toward your tailbone.
Lastly, these words from Adam Kurtz resonated with me.
Being a person in the world isn’t easy. You may feel pressure to quit from outside your circles, and pressure from within them too. But we didn’t choose this because it’s easy. We chose it because it’s who we are. It will seem like you have gone as far as you can go. Go Further.
Crash onto your belly for a belly savasana turning your head to one side.
You just proved that you could do more than your thought you could. Turn your head to the other side.
So in life when you feel like you can’t go further…
Go Further, my friends..