The strangest

The strangest thing the happened to me, the strangest student/teacher I`ve met, the strangest situation I got into, the strangest place I have visited, the strangest question I was asked, the strangest answer I received...

I try to dive into the ocean of memories because I know there are so many things there to find - weird, odd sometimes even awkward but still funny situations, seemingly unimportant but entertaining or inspiring stories, good lesson learns....but now! Now, when I am actively searching for them, I find nothing! :D

A lady comes to my mind who was a bit, let`s say, hard to handle. As a teacher for sure, but as a student as well (as I got the feedback from others). You know sometimes we are really focused on our phones, but we still have to do some secondary activities – stir the frying mushrooms in the pan, brush our teeth, or go to pee. Well, this lady took the yoga class as such a secondary activity while constantly being on her phone. At one point, I think we were with closed eyes in Heros` pose when her phone started to vibrate, she picked it up, started to scroll her Facebook, and laughed quietly. Without any notice, I snatched the phone from her hands, and like an elementary school teacher I said “you might get it back at the end of the class”. Maybe I was a bit aggressive...maybe...I haven`t seen her for a while...

That reminds me of another lady. I used to teach in a big, old-school gym. This lady came to my class, at the beginning she told me she used to dance, but had some issues with her knees, so she would have to modify some postures. We started the class and after the first 5 minutes, I lost her. I could have said anything, literally anything, she didn`t bother. When there were some asanas where she could have shown off with her flexibility, she joined us for a few minutes but then she returned into her bubble and did whatever she wanted. Hanging on the wall bars, doing some push-ups, a bit of stretching, any random stuff you can imagine. At the end of the practice, she came to me, said it was an awesome class and she kept coming back regularly! I don`t think I was able to teach her anything, but maybe providing space was just enough...;)

Oki, the memory box is slowly opening up, here is another one! At the very beginning of my teaching journey, I was substituting literally everything, everywhere! I traveled an hour to sub a pilates class. I wasn`t confident at all, as I was really without almost any experience. So I enter the room, there are 3 ladies between 60 and 70, came to my pilates class... Well, my pilates is rather a “turbo pilates”, not the comfy, long stretchy one. So I start to worry a bit - “what am I going to do with these ladies?!” “Never mind, you can do this Betti, just slow down, explain the things precisely and offer a lot of modifications!” Then it turns out that of course, they do not speak English...So with my minimal pilates teaching experience and my even more minimal Czech knowledge, I push through this class. I was smiling outside and fighting with the elements inside. At the end, the ladies all smiled, left happy and sweaty and asked if I will come again! I said we will see and inside I was shouting “Nooo! OMG No!!!” :D

Strange things in my body during practice or meditation...there are a good couple of such. The very first strangely new experience goes back to the time when I was not really interested in yoga itself I just went there because of a cute teacher (which reminds me of another funny story :D ). So at the end of the class, we were laying on our backs and went through a guided meditation. I don`t remember the exact words or instructions, but for sure I was visualizing a red rose floating in front of my eyes. At one point I think my mind stepped into the state of yoga nidra (conscious stage in between wakefulness and sleep), and my body became that red rose. I felt I am levitating a couple of centimeters above the ground. First I thought I am dreaming, but it felt all so real! I didn`t want to move because I was afraid to let go of this precious never experienced sensation. I had no idea about my surrounding about time. I was just a floating red rose. But when the teacher said it is time to return, my body landed back on the mat, the rose disappeared, and I was again those flash and bones who I left behind for a while.

Another beautiful and interesting mental experience: at the end of one of the amazing workshops with Bruce Chang during meditation and chanting a very intense, bright turquoise color poured over my closed eyes. If my entire brain was wrapped into this intense light blue piece of silk. It doesn't sound so impressive but at that moment it was. If a dam was broken through and this color (not water, not air, no texture, just the color) flown over the “full screen”. I didn`t want to open my eyes, I didn`t want to lose this hardly describable, but very vital experience. I`ve never seen again that color... Months or rather years later I was teaching a class to my mom in our living room. My Bro decided to join the last 10-15 minutes of our practice and after Shavasana he told me, “Hey Sis, I don`t know what was this but a strong violet color covered my eyes, not only my eyes, but everything. Not a blanket, not a paper, or not like a purple fog, just this pure violet color!” I was amazed and of course a tiny bit envious – I am working on this experience for years, and here he comes, last 15 minutes of stretching and bumm, the mesmerizing color-flow is there, how is this fair?! :D

One more story, I promise this is the last one - that cute teacher ;) So as I mentioned before, we have to go back in time Before Christ when I was a young teenager. We went to a festival called Valley of Art with my friend. It was awesome, 4 or 5 beautiful little villages in this gorgeous Valley hosting different performers, artists, musicians, bands, theater groups, providing space for various exhibitions, discussions, presentations. Hitchhiking between the villages, meeting so many new faces, some food (not much, as we were teens), some alcohol (cheap, as we were tens), and never-ending party nights, of course. Every morning there were free yoga classes provided on a little island and we discovered that one of the instructors is definitely my cup of tea. I have checked the schedule and luckily he was teaching also on the last morning of our stay! By that time we haven`t slept for about 48 hours (no drugs, we were just simply young, believe me, it works :D ) but I convinced my friend to go to the class instead of going to sleep. There were some longer holds during the lesson where I had a couple of micro-sleeps and realized that the people next to me are already stretching their other sides, so I just silently followed them if nothing happened. At the end of the practice, after a nice long Shavasana I started to blink my eyes open when I saw that the rest of the yogis are already rolling up their mats and saying bye to each other :D I felt really awkward, quickly sat up, started to roll my mat, looked around, and pointed out my friend somewhere in the first row still sleeping deeply, perhaps even snoring cutely...I am sure we impressed our beloved teacher...

Besides all the strange, fun stories, I have to tell you that the weirdest thing that I will never understand is the attendance in the classes. When there are 25 people, you think you did your best, the class had awesome energy, everybody was breathing as one unit, you are already excited for the upcoming lesson with them and when the next week comes, there are only 5 people... why?! Who knows! The same conditions, the same day, you can`t blame the weather, no national holiday, everything is really the same, and yet, your people are not there...and this happens so many times...

I wish I could understand these waves, the dynamics behind them. If I could figure this out, come up with an algorithm that explains the reasons and estimates, projects the attendance of the classes... Nope, I think it will never happen. But if we could predict everything, there wouldn`t be so many random, funny-strange stories, right?;)

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