14 Jun 2012

On the Periphery

Had a three days of Mysore class with T-sensei this weekend. Nothing like the knowing gaze of your regular teacher.  Regular in that I see him two or three times a year.  It was great.  He has great energy.  The classes always feel light and joyful. He teaches in a way that I can get,  he says, I understand, try, and can do.

Thanks to some pointers and hands on help am nearly landing Karandasana.

He brought news from the Ashtanga world both in Tokyo and Mysore.  I really am on the very periphery of this ashtanga scene, yet feel very much in it in the ways that matter.  I have links with some wonderful teachers, a consistant practice and some friends scattered here and there, not least my classes here in Yamagata, and other fellow teachers and associates ; )  I was vaguely aware that Sharath was in Tokyo, I knew he was coming, but it being out of the question for me to attend I didn't pay it much heed.  Sharath had a good time in Tokyo, hearing about him made me want to go practice in Mysore again.  Didn't go but got the t-shirt, ha!  Not my usual kind of thing, but am feeling that I want to be in the group at the moment. A feeling that people who practice this yoga are connected, there is connection and community, and that is good.

However, I do like my peripheral postiotion, in part brought on by my northern distant location, and in part by my nature. I have always been on the edge.

Foreign parents referring to 'english people' this 'english people' that, at school I stood out, something not quite the same as all the other kids on the council estate. I ate different food, wore slightly different clothes and spoke a little differently.  Nothing major but enough for the kids to pick up on.  I did experience bullying, nothing that has left me traumatized, but enough to set me apart and I feel make me a stronger more independent person.

Because of my exclusion from school friends I made freinds on the streets out of school.  Not always the most savoury of types, other people on the edges of society, but not in the same way as me.  Kids in homes, on the street, into all sorts of things I'd rather not write about here,. lets just say periphery kids. then at Univeristy I found myself more comfortable with the 'mature' students, rather than the 18 year olds who'd just be let loose from parental control for the first time, again on the edges of it all looking in. So it's no wonder I feel comfortable enough in my postition as foreigner in Japan. A part of the group and society, yet able to look in from outside with a slightly clearer view.  Being here has also made me see my home, the UK much more clearly.  Being on the periphery does give us perspective, and I enjoy this very much in the yoga world.  Very much a part of it, but not wrapped up overwhelmingly in the circles and groups that form.