Yet, every now and then, well…. I remember the first time I got through the entire first series in my ashtanga practice. This was a big deal for me. I had been working hard, for months, 5 days a week (Saturdays were off, but an additional random Wednesday became also a day of rest). I had become obsessed with this difficult and beautiful practice of postures. I practiced nearly 2 hours, and then studied and memorized the sequence in the evenings up til the moment I nodded off, only to wake up earlier than I ever had, and start practicing the movements all over again.
So the first time I accomplished them all without my trusted guide, I let out a little squeal of triumph. The woman practicing next to me responded with her own sound, more of a growl than a squeal really, and a roll of her eyes. Not that I took notice, of course.
The event, clearly, stuck with me. I have since forgiven both myself for needing the momentary pat on the back, and also forgiven the not so interested practitioner to my left. So today, when one student gently observed the progress of another’s backbend, I smiled. When do we as adults have the opportunity to push ourselves physically on a regular basis? I mean, unless you’re in training or in a league of some sort, most of us pedestrian athletes do what we do to stay in shape, and get us back to the responsibilities of our day! So when someone accomplishes a goal, small or large with their bodies, I say go ahead and get a little boost of encouragement, from yourself and maybe even from your neighbor!
I am proud of my students. I love seeing their accomplishments, and have further loved hearing and seeing the joyful sense in the room when these goals are reached. We don’t stay in the triumph. We acknowledge it, then move on, through the series to the next one.