I’ve been listening to Leonard Cohen and reflecting how Prashant gives us the same permission to be mere humans – with all our frailties – that Leonard Cohen does in songs like “I’m Your Man”. Aspiring to perfection but accepting the reality of our human imperfection. In this morning’s class Prashant said don’t compare yourself to something you are not. If you stand outside and stare at the sun, how can you see when you come into the room? In other words (it seemed to me), be content to work with what you have, rather than constantly striving to be something you are not.
He asked us to “use” triconasana, not “do” triconasana and notice the difference. We started with an “index pose” (thanks Grant for the warning about index poses, I knew not to choose sirsasana but did choose rope headstand, which we returned to about 8 times!).
I was in a different part of the room and could not hear so well today. He asked us to begin with setting an intention for purity of mind, sanctity of mind. The room is very crowded and as we move around the circuit Prashant notices if anyone has ‘escaped’ from their index poses! He talked about how we are taught to discriminate and then asked not to discriminate against each other. He spoke about people moving in on other people’s territory.
He said his father had told him to stay put and let people come to him to be taught. Prashant made a point of not getting a passport so he couldn’t be tempted to travel and teach. He talked about using appropriate modes of transport to get to where you want to go, as an analogy for ‘using’ yoga (I think!). You wouldn’t go to New York by rickshaw, for example.
I couldn’t help thinking how much he would love the museums and culture of places like new York and Rome. I hope he does get a passport one day.
Assessors’ meeting – dawn of a new era?
The meeting of assessors and moderators from all over the world finished yesterday. There are discrepancies in the way assessments are conducted in different countries. This meeting was an attempt to begin to address that. All the countries had a chance to stand up and talk about assessment and teacher training in their country. Apparently Prashant made a very moving speech at the end thanking everyone for the hard work they do training and assessing teachers. This (being thanked) has neer happened before. Geeta spoke beautifully about keeping Mr Iyengar’s legacy alive. People are feeling it’s the beginning of a new era.