I went to a 2 day yoga workshop at the weekend. It was hard work and I was stretched in a lot of what seemed like impossible directions.
One part I remember particularly was while one teacher demonstrated an aspect of triangle pose and we attempted to copy, the other teacher moved around the class making minor adjustments.
As she approached me I tensed; I wanted to be helped and yet dreaded it at the same time. When she reached and touched me, I resisted. Then when she’d minutely moved my shoulder and a wrist and moved on I wanted to burst into tears.
It’s taken me three days to fully understand what happened. My bodily reaction and memory of teaching was of the stern, critical, you-must-take-this-in sort. The nearest thing I came to experiential learning as a child, was helplessly running around a hockey pitch trying to understand the rules and the shouted instructions.
During the weekend I recounted the story a PE teacher who promised us lesser mortals a big box of chocolates if we could walk on our hands like he could. He wasn’t really a teacher I now realise, he was just a show-off. Not once did he actually show us how to achieve what he did – obviously we would then be as good as him and that wouldn’t help his inflated ego at all.
As always it is a shock to realise how deep and fundamental these early experiences are and how they shape the rest of our lives. As always I am grateful that now I know.