On June 30th I graduated from Kripalu’s Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist Program – yay and phew! It has been an amazing journey of learning, exploring and integrating since September when I began my Ayurvedic trainings.
And yet, learning, or change in any form, has its challenges. Sometime we end up in a place of having so many new pieces, feeling so different about things, that we don’t know where to start in the application of the concepts, ideas, and practices. We have all this stuff in our toolbox and all we can do with it is ask “Now What?”
Been there, done that, have many of these T-Shirts. And at Kripalu after this YTT, “Now What” seemed to be many peoples’ question.
Over lunch with my Ayurveda peeps we were brainstorming answers to this question. I took from our conversation two connected ideas:
- Practice: With all new materials/ideas/concepts, it is important that we work with them – practice, practice, practice. This is where we explore if it works for us (or not), what it does, and when to apply it.
Before teaching the new material, it is really important that we integrate it into our experience first. If we haven’t explored it well or digested it, then it is going to be difficult to share. Over the years I’ve learned to go home and start practicing the things I learned… When it’s ready it will naturally make its way into my life and teaching.
I have also taught things before they were fully integrated and it was awkward… not my best teaching moments. It is through these experiences that I’ve learned to practice first, and once it is integrated then I share it.
- Slowly and Slowly: Change can be wild and crazy and it can take time to get to know it. Plus, small changes can have large effects. We can under-estimate the ripple something can have.
Pick one thing and start with that. Once it becomes easy, then add new things. Too many changes all at once becomes unsustainable… Part of us tends to freak out and then the baby goes out with the bath water (so to speak). In Ayurveda school they told us to start with one lifestyle piece (like switching to room temp or warm instead of iced, or using a tongue scraper in the morning) and see how it goes.
When it comes to teaching, there’s no rush to get the new stuff out… we need to integrate and understand it first. It is so tempting to start teaching new things right away – sometimes it almost feels urgent to get it out there. Yet if we don’t cultivate it within and allow it to grow, what we share doesn’t have the same potency and effect… It doesn’t sink in as deeply.
A neat thing to think about is the teacher who’s teaching you – how long have they been practicing what they are teaching you? Did they learn it yesterday, or 10 years ago? How long did they work with it before it became a part of them (which is what makes it ready to be taught to others)?
As I live and learn more, integration and application get easier. However every once in a while I get completely rocked by something – and it’s like the floor is pulled from underneath my feet… It’s challenging and yet we figure it out, and this allows us the opportunity to grow. Om to that 🙂
Happy Summer Everyone!
Om Shantih and Prema (universal peace & love),
Mona L. Warner, ERY500 & CYA-E-RYT500