”And give thanks to your formal and informal teachers”… this is a sentence I keep on hearing from my teachers during or at the end of yoga classes. The truth is, especially at the beginning, I sort of wondered about this. Sure, I am very much thankful to the teachers I had the chance to practice with, from the occasional yoga teacher somewhere far away home, to my teachers I work with since years. In a way or the other I have always learned something from everyone. Yet it was not always clear to me.
It’s very important, though, to understand what “teaching” and “learning” means. First, in this process of yoga, learning is not always something we can quantify in the moment, after the experience, by putting describing words on it. Maybe we can’t even recognize it at all, and we think “oh what a useless yoga class” or “what was that all about?”. It took me a while to learn that. Fact is that everything teaches and learns us something, and this happens far more down on the layers than our mind can sometimes even realize.
This became clear to me one more time a few weeks ago, when I did a Yoga workshop with an international teacher. I was very curious about it, didn’t really know what to expect, and to be quite honest the whole week end trip was more about the city (Lisbon, my new love by the way) than the yoga workshop in itself. It was fun, sticky and somewhat overwhelming. At first, I thought: “mmm, nice!” But nothing more. It was only until two-tree days later that i feelt the teachings of those sweaty yoga sessions. And it came with no warning! And it was a great wave.
So this is learning too. I think it’s a lot related to the capacity of staying open to the present experience and to let things unfold. To not expect anything particular and to do your thing, the best that you can, as I always try to remember. Then comes the whole chapter of the informal teachings, but that’s probably the content of another blog entry.