...so it's been total radio silence on the blog for a couple weeks. The daily schedule ramped up with all kinds of busyness as I got things ready to host my Mysore teacher for a week. I followed up on the Mysore practice week with a few days of vacation in the pacific northwest and then returned and promptly caught a cold. Finally, things are settling back into their places and I'm finding time to get some thoughts out into the blogosphere from an awesome week of practice with my teacher.
...so why have a teacher anyway? Does anyone really need a teacher?
I can't answer those questions for anyone else, but I definitely need a teacher. For me personally, there are two layers of practice that I'm most aware of. (I suspect there are more layers that I'm unaware of.) I am most aware of the layer of physical practice and the layer of mental practice. I have stayed with my current teacher because he has been able to guide me through both.
Here are a few reasons I still practice with the same teacher that I've been practicing with for the past 6 years or so.
1. He won't take me anywhere that I'm not willing to go. He will do his best to encourage and explain new poses, transitions, or deeper expressions of poses, but if I really don't think I should do something at any particular moment, he never forces it.
2. He is continually asking me to see the practice in new ways, so it never gets too comfortable or routine.
3. He's been able to convince me that the impossible is really possible.
4. He's not in a hurry. He's patiently watched my practice evolve over years and has never once suggested that I wasn't moving along fast enough.
5. I trust him, personally and professionally. This trust both comes out of and enables all the qualities I've described above.
As a teacher myself I only hope I can someday guide my students towards the same sense of vision and patience in practice that my teacher has helped me find in mine.