I've come to think, that a good teacher is simply there to reflect your own strengths and weaknesses, and to offer advice on the way. The clearer this mirror, that is teacher, the better the effect it has on the student.
Chilled, clean and clear. If the teacher is off kilter the reflection will change, warp slightly. The importance of teachers keeping up a personal practice and keeping that vibe is vital.
Tarik Thami came to visit us in Yamagata. He’s the teacher I see the most, so I guess he is my teacher. I do hate to use the possessive pronoun with people. I hardly ever get to Tokyo, but it is nice to have a teacher that is familiar with my practice. So we Yamagata Ashtangi gathered and practiced.. Been while since I last practiced in a strong group. It was fun. Good energy.
I was having doubts about Ashtanga, thinking maybe it's impossible for me to get past my blockage. Stuck in the same place for years, and now with clonky hips and a painful knee, certainly no lotus here sir. I know it’s not the asana really, but I do like practicing this sequence and love to feel progress along the physical path. I had even thought about not attending, very instantly mind, no way I could miss out! So I joined with the intention of just doing what I am able to.
Three days in a row of Mysore class. No teaching. Just practicing. In hot hot steamy Yamagata. Bliss.
The combination of heat, group energy and a strict teacher watching over seemed to do wonders for my weak willed practice. I could get both legs behind my head. Go figure, had totally laid off even one leg this last month, waiting to heal. I guess the rest worked, no pain, felt good.
Finally made it to Karandavasana.....now I've got some work.. I thought this would be out of the question, what with my no lotus status. But Tarik showed me a way with Bakasana style legs, knees just bent. Ha ha ha, all that Bakasana B I've been doing certainly helped prepare for this version. Ah finally to practice Pincha Mayurasana with a teacher, even tried Pincha to chatuari. Nearly did it twice, and twice thwomped my chin.
I fell like the light shone on me a little, oh I do like to be taught, the luxury having a good teacher around ; )