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Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States
Karen is a yogini, writer, student, teacher and meditator. She founded Garden Street School of Yoga in 2000. Karen lives with her husband Chris. They have two amazing sons, Eli and Leo (both of them young men).

Jun 21, 2010

Through the Knothole

My hope to post every day of the teacher training was unrealistic. And now it is "the day after". But I don't have a hangover. (What is the opposite of a hangover? A lift-under?) Anyway, it was a very good week. The group was dynamic and the level of studentship surpassed my hopes and expectations. We spent a lot of time honing the techniques and details and methods of teaching. Beth - most amazing teacher - assisted all week. The group dubbed her "big sister". Her presence was a tremendous support for me and everyone present. Now I wonder how I ever taught a teacher training without Beth......

We really dug into the details and fine points of teaching. The adage that the "devil is in the details" is one that I've switched up to be "The goddess is in the details". And, as often happens when there is a focus on technical skill and detail, there were plenty of melt-downs and dark-nights-of-the soul as people visited the domain of deep self doubt. Luckily, I can always share with students my own history of self-doubt and melt-down. For example: crying through an entire week of study - only pausing to dial the phone to Chris - and then sobbing into the phone some more again. At these times, I could not even hide my situation from fellow students as I had to walk around with hugely red, puffy eyes with mascara run-off marks. At the root of it all was an extreme certainty that I was outside of Grace - left behind".

Now I don't go to that place so much (knock on wood). Instead I get to help students make it through their own knothole of self-doubt. And I am happy to do so. I don't know what I could have done to deserve to finally know that I have never been and never will be "left behind". And I can only begin to make pay-back by teaching in this method that firmly and repeatedly insists that we are - at our very core and essence - good.

At the end of the training, a bright and VERY talented student begged me to tell her what one thing she was doing poorly in her teaching. I think that what she really wanted me to tell her was what was wrong with her. As I considered my answer, I remembered myself asking a teacher (way back) to please tell me what was the ONE MAIN THING WRONG with me. And so I told her what that teacher had told me -the main thing to work on is to recognize your intelligence and talent. It's the truest answer. After that, all the details of technique can nest inside the knowing that you are never outside of Grace.