Meeting a Guru

Photo by Michele Venne

I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to attend two workshops by Sri Ravi Shankar, a visiting teacher from India.

The first was an asana practice where the breath was integrated into the physical postures. As a teacher, I often remind students of their breath, and that if it isn’t flowing easily, then they need to move out of the pose because they are working beyond their edge. There is a direct link between the breath and the state of the mind. Wonder why the suggestion has been to take some deep breaths when you’re angry? It floods the body and mind with oxygen, and it gives you the chance to respond instead of react.

The second session was three hours on the Psychology of Yoga. Wow! Just when I thought I knew a lot, I realized there is still so much to learn! It reminded me of the yoga cards I created a few years ago, available on my website. I list the Eight Limbs of Patanjali and give examples of how to apply each one to daily life. This is what Ravi shared with us. The session also reminded me how much easier it is for me to learn from a teacher face-to-face than it is to read about the subject.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet Ravi, to learn from someone who has more experience living yoga than I do, and who is a good teacher, able to put across some difficult topics in a way that I was able to understand it. If give the chance again, I would attend a class by Ravi or another guru.