The initial rapport that we felt with our teacher was due to the fact that he pretty much ignored us. Of course he said hello, but he didn’t want to know who we were, why we had come to his class or anything about us. That suited us fine as we could skulk to the back of the hall. He welcomed us and then instructed us to ‘help yourself to a mat, yeah’, in a way which almost sounded like a question. Minimal fuss – good.
His talk about health and safety, which he always gives to the class when new comers arrive, never ceases to amuse us. His philosophy on this is that you shouldn’t do anything in class which causes your mind or body pain and therefore if you get any injuries in class ‘its your fault not mine don’t blame me yeah i didn’t make you yeah.’ Throughout the class he warns us which posture should not be done if you have a particular ailment. We both find this approach refreshing, as ultimately he asks us to take responsibility for ourselves.
Our teacher does not follow a lesson plan, in fact he told us that he decides what to do as he goes along. Apparently feeling the energy of the class. However he tells us that he is not a teacher, and that he is just a yoga practitioner, just like us. In the next breath he explains what he’s about to teach us. It is funny the way he contradicts himself, but we take the point that the greatest most knowledgable and the ‘best’ teacher is your own experience.
Sometimes he reminds us of Borat.
He was born in India and Yoga has been the main focus of his life since he was three. His Grandad taught him, although he has explained to us that Yoga is not practised that widely in India. You can tell that he has sat in meditation for prolonged periods, and he has shared some of his experiences with us. He has experienced many strange things and he has deep spiritual beliefs. He says that he has experienced bodily death and soared through various parts of his consciousness. He only speaks of these things when he is confident that the class members are open to hearing about it. But he never tries to convert us, he is not a self-styled guru.
Sometimes he has a crazy look about him, with a far reaching stare or concentrated look in his eye. Sometimes we worry about him – has he left some of his consciousness in the stratosphere? But then we remind ourselves, he is always peaceful, relaxed, content, at ease and happy. He must be doing something right. He has a marvellous giggle.