To have music in a class or not....It begs a very important question.
I have lost count on the amount of yoga classes I have taught over the past decade, at least 6,ooo. That's a lot of Yoga classes.
Luckily, I have a very diverse population ranging from those who want the vinyasa flow (to avoid what they need to look at and burn more calories), to the few who want to slow things down and restore, relax and rejuvinate their body and mind.
Last year, I taught at my first yoga and kirtan yoga festival in Ashland, Oregon and had the great good fortune to meet and have as an accompanying musician, Stevin Mc Namara.
It was a new festival venue and the class I was teaching was to be in the water. Stevin (whom I had never met at this point) was on his accoustic guitar playing by the water's edge.
Since our meeting I have introduced his music at various times when as a teacher looking for inspiration, music seems like the best way to go. Today was such day.
A spate of 3 eclipses over the past month and people becoming very emotional over things they should not be emotional about, prompted me to search out one of his CD's again, or did it present itself to me?
In any event, I began the class with a clear mind and no agenda. The students did not respond to my question, What do you need today?", and so, turned I the class over to Stevin and pressed the 'Play' button on the CD player.
We breathed, we flowed and we turned inward to a class that because the students were regular and all knew me, needed to recieve minimal vebral cues. The class morphed into a flowing meditation that became all the more deeper as we moved to the rhythm of the music rather that the agenda I had in my head as I entered into the classroom and saw who my students were going to be.
It is rare for me as a teacher to practice along side the students without having an agenda of any kind, and yet I trusted that the music would guide us in a balanced and meaningful practice. It was almost as if Stevin was in the room with us.
The students who were in class felt it, too. A vibration in consciousness that allowed us to play safely and with awareness and clarity of purpose through a beautiful practice I could not replicate even if I tried.
A super reminder that when we most need insprarion, especially as teachers, we just have to trust and give up our concept of what we thought we knew.
In every breath a new dawn arises.
To learn more abot Stevin, you can go to his website but here is the "OM Guitar" CD that went down so well today.
Ah! sweet memories make for a deeper meditation.
In the Kriya Dharma