I rarely get to a yoga class these days, let alone many workshops. Whilst I see my teacher on a one-to-one basis every six weeks or so, I tend to be teaching when other yoga teachers are teaching, so I rely very heavily on my own self-practice, my own reading and my own explorations of yoga.
However, a friend and fellow yoga teacher, Abhijeeta at Shiva Rooms is currently running a Yogic Lifestyle Course, which is one Sunday a month for five months -- Sundays being my day off, I signed up.
Today was wonderful. It is such a relief to allow someone else to guide me, instead of having to be the guide.
Abhijeeta teaches a quite different style of yoga from me (Satyananda), but I believe it is a good thing to break from the norm and to move away from those things we are used to. Work outside of our comfort zone.
Amongst other things we covered Karma Yoga. We were told to clean the yoga centre and I got the unenviable task of cleaning the windows. The point is selfless service. Doing something from which we will get nothing, from which we have no expectation of the result of what we do. It is the first step on the road to Seva - the ability to be that. This is not service, it is a connection with the self, the environment and with others.
And you know what? After I'd got over the internal grumblings of "what the hell am I doing paying good money for a yoga course and ending up cleaning someone's bloody windows", I had a lot of fun. It really allowed me to just be in the moment. And anyway everyone knows I love cleaning (which might actually stop it from being completely selfless?).
We also watched a video of a talk by Swami Saraswati who spoke about working on discipline, mind management, balance and the ability to take a step back and witness life - be active rather than reactive. Fabulous stuff.
Looking forward to the next session in May.