some thoughts about the yoga instructor/student relationship...
In my private sessions, it's not as if I'm a guru and these folks are my students. It feels more like masseuse/client...at times even like manicurist/client. I'm there to help out and pamper and assist. And sometimes that relationship gets a little stale and uninspired, and since I'm not there for this person's enlightnement or even therapy, it's not a given that my services will be retained past these doldrums.
Today I had a session with one of my private clients. When we first started working together, we focussed on basics, mostly for relaxation. I taught her how to meditate, which was a great experience for *me* at least. As time went on she wanted to try more advanced stuff in order to strengthen her physical body, so now we're doing a more rigorous practice...it's fun to show her all this stuff, but I'm not sure what's happening. Is she getting stronger? Hard to say. I don't think she practices when I'm not there, and doing a 2x/wk routine isn't enough to get strong.
Lately, there's this feeling of ennui that pervades our sessions. And I have to wake up so early (4:30 AM) and travel so far to get to our sessions, that I'm not really at my best or brightest when I'm with her. She's going away on business for 2 weeks, so we'll have a little reprieve and maybe it'll be all crisp and new after that. Meanwhile, I need to post more flyers and perhaps produce other ways to attract more clients/students.
A letter to the editor of NEW YORK mag caught my eye this morning. Apparently they'd run an article about Landmark Education in a recent issue, and a TV news producer wrote in to remind readers that Werner Erhard (Landmark's founder) was and remains a bit of a creepazoid. His own daughters accused him of rape and molestation, and according to this news producer, neither of the daughters recanted, nor did Erhard refute their claims.
This struck me as singularly odd, so I hit Google and searched for more articles about this. Nothing came up except the Rick Ross anti-cult pages, and I always take RR's material with a grain of salt (he's an excitable anti-cult-activist and he sees cults everywhere). But perhaps Erhard has scoured the Web to remove any defamatory material against him. I dunno. I still find him creepy.
As for the Forum, my mother-in-law is a proponent of it, as was a former boss of mine. I'd characterize both of these women as well-intentioned and intelligent, but also a bit too dependent on jargon and quick-fixes...
Erhard's methods and ideas are based on a variety of sources, but he has tried to package his methods into an easy-to-digest formula. Maybe it's my conditioning, but I believe that real progress comes in a slow and steady timetable. Where's the fire? What's the rush? Why do we need instant enlightenment? Insights can heal spontaneously, but behavior and beliefs often takes time to change, and we gots plenty of time....
My intuitions about the Forum are also based on the fact that I don't know anyone who took the Forum workshop who came out of it seeming appreciably different or better, and that speaks for itself.
Having said all that, I'm not against people trying to understand their own behavior or motives...and for some, The Forum is a place to explore these things for the first time. For others, it's addictive navel-gazing w/o real value to anyone else.
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