Wow! This week was so special. On Tuesday, after my practice, my teacher asked me if I would like to start teaching Mysore on Monday mornings! I’ve had the pleasure of teaching the Led Ashtanga Primary Series a few times, but I’ve never taught Mysore-style. This has been a goal of mine since I committed to practicing Ashtanga Yoga 6 days/week back in May of 2017, but I honestly didn’t think I would accomplish this goal for many years.
Mysore-style classes are not led. Students can show up between 5:30am-6:00am to begin their practice. Everyone’s practice looks a little different as they each work through the same series of asanas at their own pace, using their breath as guide. The idea behind this is that the teacher is able to individualize instruction, so each student essentially gets a private lesson in a group setting. My job is to hold the space for the students to practice, providing individual assistance when needed.
Part of holding space for Monday morning Mysore means that I’ll need to help students by giving hands-on assists, including helping some students drop back into/stand up from a backbend. This means that the student must trust the teacher, as they could easily be dropped on their head.
On Thursday, I had just finished Kapotasana and was taking some deep breaths to allow my spine to neurtralize when I heard my teacher call my name from across the room. I looked over and I saw my friend Rosemary standing at the top of her mat with her arms across her chest, ready for Mysore dropbacks.
I quickly stood up and hurried over–I already knew what was about to happen. My teacher asked me if I was alright to do this (I was in the middle of a physically exhausting practice), and I eagerly agreed. I think all three of us learned something that day as we worked together to complete the backbending sequence. Rosemary did some beautiful dropbacks and showed no hesitation in trusting me. Dhawi gave me some helpful tips, but allowed me to correct some of my mistakes on my own. I was absolutely thrilled when Rosemary reported that she felt safe and supported throughout the assist!!
This practice has always been a catalyst for growth in my life and I know teaching Mysore is going to challenge me in so many different ways. I’m going to gain deeper insight into this practice, the chance to serve my fellow Ashtangis, and the opportunity to study myself in a new light. I can’t help but feel I am exactly where I need to be in my life, and that the universe has a divine plan. More next week!