Ajahn Chah learned that it was better to create the right environment for practice than to try to turn people who didn’t want to practice into practitioners. He had a simile. He said: “If you created a nice pasture and cows came in, they would eat the grass. If animals went into the pasture and didn’t eat the grass, then you knew they weren’t cows.” That was his way of saying that if you create a good place for practice, real practitioners will practice. Other types of people won’t practice, and there’s no point in trying to change them.
Have you noticed I have changed my monthly email format and to some extent my teaching method?
Now, my classes are only for those with a willingness to commit, a purpose, and a positive attitude.
Here were the responses I received:
I am working towards improved mobility (which decreases pain and improves range of motion and ease getting through the day). I am working towards being stronger functionally. And most fundamentally, it all starts with breathwork. I am committed to doing the work as I age and it becomes harder to retain. I am committing to daily quality movement of at least an hour with the exception of 1 rest day. I am committing to 10 minutes (to start) a day for 6 days of meditation/breathwork."
I want wants to work on overall strength & flexibility. I'm willing to come to class and work definitely, and possibly do to daily "homework."
I want to increase my flexibility - I want to touch my toes! I'd like to increase my range of motion in my neck & shoulders if that's possible.”
Continue to build on what we have been working on -building joint strength, building strength in weaker points, practicing breath and embodiment. I will continue to make class a priority and will take the lessons I learn in class into my movement during the week. “Bend knees, make a hip crease, juice those oranges!”
My goal is to improve core strength and balance.”
I want to decrease my back pain by improving my posture and ability to breath. I am willing to practice for 10 minutes a day, 5 days a week, outside of attending class weekly” as a starting point and hope to add more time and other additional types of movement and exercise if/when possible.”
I would be willing to commit to trying at least 10 minutes of yoga at home daily, or maybe finding a specific movement or two to commit to doing daily (whichever makes more sense) to build a habit, and then build on it from there.”
I am willing to commit to daily exercise based on the last class we attend to carry the lessons forward. I am thinking about moving the exercycle back inside to facilitate moving the joints better.”
I am asking this because after on month of classes, I am taking a 10 day break for my high school reunion. This means you will not have the luxury of me to direct your practice for a couple of weeks. This means that if you really want what you think you want, you will be responsible for making it happen while I am away.
So, these next couple of weeks are on you. I hope I hear fantastic stories of Sun Salutations or Pull-Aparts and Squats, of 5 minutes dedicated to “6 counts in, 6 counts out” breathing practice. I know you want it yourself and practicing during class break will be how you get it.