The way I practice the most often is by myself, in my room, and without music. While I love being a student and am still looking to find a teacher in LA whom I connect with and who can help bring insight and inspiration on a deep and transformative level, I have spent the last 5 years building a solid foundation in self-practice. There is absolutely no replacement for it. The quietude, the curiosity, the self-inquiry, the asking, the listening, the receiving, the teaching, the learning… all of it now happens within your relationship to your self. (Not to mention if you are a teacher actually teaching others, it is irresponsible and uninspired to solely rely on attending other classes as class prep…IMHO) I do believe that our highest teacher will eventually manifest from our own minds, and I say this after having devoted my heart and energy to studying at the feet of incredible yoga, philosophy, and meditation teachers. My time as a student will never end, but self-practice and acting as one’s own teacher are equally important and require a different sense of responsibility, discipline, and compassion.
This is ardha matsyendrasana 1. Oftentimes you see the top hand held open to the world, rather than placed back on one’s own body, as I show here. This variation of my hand to my own my heart is a result of self-practice, of guiding myself as a teacher. I not only direct that energy back into my own body, thereby creating a mudra, but I also receive physical self-assistance as to direct my chest and shoulder open. This melding of Teacher and Student, giver and receiver, and subject and object, simply through the conscious placement of one’s hand, is yoga.
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