I have been struggling with defining MY own version of success for a little while now. If you had been following my writings in the past 4-5 months, you will see this has been the main theme running throughout the past entries. Truth be told, I had been so fixated with the idea of success which I had formed in my early 20s that letting go of this rigid definition of success became a starting point to which I began to question what truly, and absolutely matters to me.
My TTC last September-Oct was not the starting point to reconstructing my own idea of success, but it was definitely an enabler which opens up a floodgate from which passion, interest, and the desire to serve others were rekindled. Since the conclusion of the TTC last Oct, I had been teaching beginners-intermediate Hatha Yoga to a handful number of mostly women. Women who are my close friends, my colleagues, and also strangers that faithfully walked through the door of the multipurpose hall every Saturday to attend the sessions that I lead.
The more I teach, the more humbled I am. I know for sure, joy for me resides in the light that shines through the eyes of these women as they slowly open their eyes from their final Savasana pose. One weekend ago, a woman who had been practicing her shoulder stand with the support of a wall eventually pushed off and held her pose on her own. As I was assisting another person from across the room, she let out a tiny squeak and soft “wheee” as I am sure the exhilaration of mastering something new washes through her.
When she eventually got out of the pose, and 5 breath of Matsyasana later, she rolled back up and told me “I did my first shoulder stand at home this week, and I was so excited I nearly wanted to call you straight away”
I smiled to what seemed like a HUGE grin, as a big ‘WOW!’ moment reverberated through my mind. In that moment, I know everything thing that has brought me to this very moment, was absolutely, and totally worth it.
Maya Angelou once said – Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
I have not reached that point in which I can crystalize my own idea of success so coherently into one sentence as that. But I know it comes pretty close. And I have this suspicion that it has something to do with sharing what I know of yoga to the masses so that they too can journey through their own lives in the most peaceful & rewarding way possible.
All the same, the more I teach the more I feel that I am learning of the essence of humanity, what drives people? what is important? where are they now and where do they wish to go with their own lives?
I came across a powerful advice from the words of Sri T Krishnamacharya who is also the man responsible for the sparking the birth of Ashtanga Yoga and Iyengar Yoga (both Sri Patabhi Jois & Iyengar were his students). He said “Teach what is inside you, not as it applies to you, to yourself, but as it applies to the other”
Thus serving as a constant reminder that to teach is not always to dump all your knowledge onto the next willing passerby, but to consciously form the understanding of where the other is at that very moment and structuring the next 75-90 minutes of your time together as it applies to them. And if I can do this, and have the same desired effects from every single person that attends my classes, that to some degree, is success to me.