Rob GoldBy Rob Gold

I admit it, I have “Teacher Drift.” Worse, I don’t know what it feels like to receive what I give. So what would un-stick me? I’ve considered retaking YTT Level 2, Shaktipat Retreats and even flying to a nearby city for a dose of Svaroopa® yoga classes. But I am longing for more than just poses and sessions. I need the Svaroopi community too, a big dose of that “walking-into-a-room-and-instantly-knowing-that-everyone-there-gets-me-the-way-I-get-them” feeling. There is a deep surrender and peace in that for me and it’s a place where I feel safe and at home, connecting with my Self, other Svaroopis and our wonderful teachers.

ShavasanaI am as committed as ever to the practices of Svaroopa® yoga and cherish and honor all they have given me, but in the bigger picture it’s obvious: YTT Level 2 was almost six years ago, my continuing education is long overdue, and it’s been three years since I attended a class or received an Embodyment® session.  That’s half the time I’ve been doing yoga! I have a tidy list of “reasons” for that justify my (in)actions nicely: family obligations, lack of money, geographic isolation, etc. But if I hold them up to the light, they are transparent. So why then have I not immersed myself in regular trainings and retreats? Simply, I have lost touch with the student experience; it’s easy to not miss what you don’t remember.

At Teacher Trainings, I am the first one there in the morning and the last to leave the building, whether I have signed up for that seva or not. When I attend chants or meditation programs near where I live, it’s the same, yet not quite the same. Those events are lovely and give me a wonderful dose of the Divine, but it’s not Svaroopa® yoga.  What we experience in Svaroopa® yoga and meditation is so sweet and has its own unique “flavor.” Just like visiting an ice-cream store on a hot summer’s night only to find that one flavor you had your heart set on isn’t there, the other options just don’t cut it.

So where can I go to be sure I get my favorite yoga flavor? Where can I get a hand-rolled waffle cone filled with a triple scoop of community, openings and Grace with sprinkles on top? For this I need to come home. I need to steep myself as deeply as possible in Svaroopa® yoga not just to remember what it feels like but also to move forward. I need to flip the teacher/student paradigm back over to where it was six years ago and do what I did then and what my students do now — go to yoga.

At this point the tidy list of excuses I mentioned before comes back front and center, and it’s a cycle that has kept me stuck. My heart leaps and exclaims “Let’s go!” only to have my mind chip away at the enthusiasm with the usual nagging doubts and questions: airfare is expensive, who will watch the dog, I just got a promotion at work, etc. I’ve been around this bush enough times to know that when I have set the intention, things fall into place and in ways I never imagined. Yet I also know I have drifted far enough that committing to a training or retreat feels more like tearing myself apart between where I am and where I want to be. Did I mention I might be in a rut as well?

2013 Alignment with GraceSo what would un-stick me? The easy answer to all these questions is to get myself to the upcoming Conference: Alignment with Grace, now just two weeks away. I’m confident those three days would provide more connecting and aligning than I can imagine and catch me up both literally and figuratively. Professionally the Foundations track would satisfy my Continuing Education needs and address any drift in pose protocols. And personally? While I don’t know exactly what such a long trip for a weekend would do, I do Know it would connect me with my peers and my Guru. That would take me far beyond what I can imagine sitting here writing this 6,000 miles away. All that’s left is to actually DO it.

Five years ago during the Yoga Business Skills course, Swami Nirmalananda helped each of us to see how we have always found the time and money to do what we really wanted and that our limitations are exactly that, “ours.” We put them there. If we get clear and put what we really want at or near the top of the list, it gets done. So how important is it for me to end the drift and get back on track? This is the hardest part, as it’s been so long I don’t really know, but I trust my yearning to do so. It’s relentless and beautiful at the same time.  It drives me to break out of this pattern and reconnect in every way possible. If I can get this to the top of my list and avoid getting hung up on excuses in the process, I’ll be at that hotel Friday afternoon on a literal wing and a prayer, and maybe with a cardboard sign saying “Will trade presses for food.”