Copy your teacher physically and mentally!

Whoever your best teacher is, that is the person to copy! My Dharma Yoga teacher, Sri Dharma Mittra, always exhorts his students to copy what others are doing if they are doing it well. Copy mentally and physically. One of the best ways to learn! Needless to say he is usually the best one to copy!

Copying someone mentally is not so easy, what I do its try to understand the attitude they have or take on for each thing they do. Last evening during class Sri Dharma was teaching alternate side breathing, and he had set up a camera and screen so people can see him better.  He sat forward on his knees and close to his students in the first row.
The technique for alternate side breathing is easy to copy if you can see what he is doing and follow the cues. What the camera showed from above and what I saw in my teacher was a small and humble man who will teach on his knees, with an attitude of earnestness, determined to share this teaching with others, patience, and humility. It also showed and reminded me what it means to me to be on my knees. Being on my knees allows me to be small, and brings out in me humility, earnestness, and devotion…just that position in itself is an offering of prayer.

Physical copying is also important, each posture in yoga has a mental attitude or ‘spirit’ associated with it. When I take on certain postures, my body sends some message or learning to my brain that comes from the physical posture.  This way the body teaches the mind, usually it is knowledge that is beyond words. Shavasana is a good example of this – Shavasana is for total relaxation, and when I remain perfectly still, when my body stops sending messages to my brain, my brain can settle. It learns the attitude of quietness and stillness.

 

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