1.14 sa tu dirgha kala nairantarya satka rasevito drdhabhumih
sa= This, that
Tu= and, but, however
nairantayra= without break, continually, without interruption
satka= EARNESTNESS, devotion, sinserity, respect, reverence, right action
asevitha= practiced, cultivated, attended to
drdhabhumih= firmly rooted, stable, firm ground, solid foundation
Practice becomes firmly GROUNDED when well ATTENDED to for a long time, with out break and in all earnestness.
I was chatting with Brian on the beach and he was trying to plant a specific seed in my mind, however he was also pulling the seed up every minute or so to see if the roots had grown and not giving the thought time to plant. I pointed this out (with great love, of course). I laughed pretty hard when I got back to out room and was reading the commentary on the days Sutra. Swami Satchidananda writes," So let us not be like little children who sow the seed today and dig it up tomorrow to see how much the roots went down." I wouldn't have shared this if Brian hadn't laugh as hard as I did. We continued to discuss our personal efforts to find firmly rooted practice with full attention that allows us to stay steady in practice without having to say, "are we there yet". Truth is if we have to ask, the answer is probably, keep practicing.
We have just completed day 2 of the AcroYoga Elemental Immersion in Nelson, NZ. One full day of Therapeutics and another full day of Acrobatics. All of my assistants have taken immersions with me in the last two years. I have had the opportunity to witness their practice and dedication to building community, personal relationships and physical embodiment of the practice. It is such a joy to see that process reflected. I could also feel today how much I have grown in my practice and my teaching.
I was dropped today by a student who was learning how to spot, but was a bit hesitant to get hands on. I fell onto my elbow and fortunately only got a little brush burn. I could hear the gasp of the students watching and feel the tension in the room. Realizing I was going to be fine. I stood up and brushed myself off. I joked that , " I had taken one for the team". The truth was I felt a bit rattled, but I had reached a place in my practice that I could recognize what was important and transform the experience, I spoke to the inherent dangers of any practice and importance of safety with calmness and clarity. I shared my own story of when I foolishly didn't have a spotter and dropped my own teacher early on in my acro career. I had the students finish the trust exercise and then sit in groups and chat about the experience. It was so powerful. One student shared how he felt himself getting overly confident and realized he needed to give full attention no matter how easy some moves may have felt,; another girl actually said she was thankful to witness my fall as it brought home the importance of the spotting role. I knew I had shifted in my own practice because I could find my center when thrown off balance mentally and physically. A few years ago this would have left me flustered even though no actual damage was done. I realize the gift of this moment to teach others and as a sort of diagnostic test to see how far my roots have grown.
Spotting is often a misunderstood role and an easy one to tune out on. The growth of any acrobat is proportional to the amount of trust and safety they feel. The very nature of supporting another human in this way requires consistence in practice and a solid foundation in awareness. The group today was already helpful and loving, but after the trust building you could see the shift to empowered teams of ninjas really working their edges. I can't wait to see where they are after three more days.
One of the blessings of this week is the presence of two 4 month old babies who are here for the whole event with their parents. The parents work in shifts to practice and care for the babies and the fellow students and I are soaking up the precious giggles and baby babble. Another little girl will be here for portions with her dad after school gets out mon-fri. The balance has worked surprisingly well and it is a pleasure to experience a more inclusive space for children. The parents are also amazing circus performers an acrobats so these little ones will not be strangers to people and movement. I am most impressed that the little ones will be growing up tri-lingual. (Italian, German and English)