photo credit: Kara Block Creative
Nancy Crowell after the flow training Santa Barbara
My yoga story is about tears, and how they changed.
One of the first things I find myself saying to someone who asks me “How was the training?” is “I cried a lot.”
“The beginning of the training I bumped up hard against myself.” I watched myself resist, push, and then surrender to what was being asked of me. I laugh now at all the excuses I that came out of my mouth as to why I couldn’t possibly get thru all 4 weeks. How this training must be for 20 year olds and not designed for 50 year olds. How I am not good at memorizing. Blah, blah, blah.
Then I experienced uncomfortableness over the loss of my identity (as described in The Invitation, the poem Zefea read out loud after we finished our first 2.25 hr advanced class) when I got no one cared what I had done or who I was before I came to the training. They just wanted to know if I could stand beside them in the fire.
Then the mortification as when I was to teach an asana in front of the group and went blank. That was the moment I realized I was going to have to study even more, as I never wanted to feel that way again. How I understood then that teaching in front of the group and being critiqued was an opportunity not to be wasted.
And then there was the sadness that hit me upside the head & kicked my feet out from under me over the loss of people in my life, the ones that it was time to release.
All these tears were self serving, jarring “ah ha’s” that were necessary in order to create a shift.
“I took 14 classes in the last 4 days!” And although most of those were as a body for my peers to teach to, what I discovered was showing up for someone else is totally rewarding. It gives you energy. You want to go thru the postures (even if it feels like just going thru the motions as you are so tired) for them. When we all clapped at the end I teared up in sheer celebration for their accomplishment.
“I finally got what powerful heart openers backbends are.” It was during a week 4 studio class, whose peak pose was a backbend that I found myself (and later discovered my peers too) weeping.
Then on graduation day, when Zefea asked us to teach each other backbends, my heart broke open so completely it was like a faucet had turned on and couldn’t turn off. These tears were an outpouring for the connection I felt for the group I had just spent 27 days with, many I suddenly realized I may never see again.
So the training for me was a lot about tears and how those tears changed during the course of the training from self to other to all-as-one.