Stay with the rest of the class

Stay with the rest of the class

We’re told that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

But what we’re not told is that if we don’t learn the lesson, the teacher will come back.

And that can be an infuriating experience.

As an example, my yoga practice is often quite impatient. I will enter and exit postures according to my own schedule. And there’s no doubt that my rebellious and individualistic tendency to march to the beat of my own drum drives my instructors crazy.

But they’re highly trained and deeply experienced teachers. They accept my unwillingness to learn that lesson. And so, they keep reminding me.

Scott, stay with the rest of the class. Scott, don’t come out early. Scott, move with the words.

I hate it. These corrections bother me at a visceral level. Because they trigger traumatic childhood memories of teachers, parents and other authority figures scolding me for not being a team player and refusing to follow the herd. And it pains me every time.

But that’s yoga. That’s life. That’s everything.

Until the lesson is finally learned, the teacher is going to keep coming back.

And coming back. And coming back. Like a fly that won’t leave us alone.

What lesson are you pretending not to need to learn?

Scott Ginsberg is a writer, regular practitioner and community leader at Bikram Yoga Park Slope. He is also the author of the forthcoming book, A Year in Hot Yoga: Daily Meditations for On and Off the Mat

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