A black-capped chickadee flutters outside the patio door and looks in on me as I flow through my morning practice. Chiripa, our little three-month old kitten, spies the bird and begins to stalk. Then she notices the grey squirrels at the feeder and her tail joins in the pursuit, jerking from side to side. With a window between them it doesn't seem to matter to her that the squirrels are at least two to three times her size....
After teaching TCC for over two hours last night, this morning's practice feels wonderfully soft and relaxed. I'm reminded of Justin Stone's admonition to practice as if you've lost your last friend, your job, and anything else you care about (my paraphrasing). Once you've lost everything, nothing seems to matter. This is when a TCC practice can truly flow without effort.
It's infinitely easier to focus solely on my personal practice after observing the movements of two classes of students yesterday. Teaching requires you to direct attention to a classroom of students in order to notice how they move; then you must employ multiple strategies to modify habits and/or redirect attention to various aspects of movements in order to allow room for change to occur. It's a challenging job.
Each person has a different learning style and we all become ingrained in our own habit patterns. When students--and teachers--are open to new ideas and new ways of moving though, change, improvement and increased relaxation and softness are possible.
I notice already that the refinements I learned at the St. Paul TCC retreat several weeks ago are integrating more completely into my body and mind. And with that integration comes more comfort, flow, and relaxation. Yes!