A couple weeks ago at my Saturday morning yoga class, my teacher asked me to demonstrate a pose. We had just been kicking up to the forearm balance, pincha mayurasana, which is pretty solid for me at this point. So, instead of being afraid I couldn’t do it, I just went along with it. She did have me kick up again to pincha, but then began giving me instructions for bending my knees, lengthening my torso and sliding my feet down the wall. And, like that, I was doing vrschikasana, or scorpion pose. I was stunned not only that I could do it, (I’d never even attempted it before.) but it didn’t even seem that hard.
If she had told me that I was going to do scorpion pose, I would have stopped her cold, told her I couldn’t do it. Or I would have gone along with her, quietly fearful, holding the smug knowledge in the back of my head that, NO, there’s no way I can do THAT. Because she strategically refrained from telling me what pose I was about to do, I didn’t just do a yoga pose, I became a new person — a person who could do scorpion pose.
With her help, something shifted for me. Not only could I do the physical pose, but my image of myself changed. I could do scorpion pose. I can do advanced postures, in some cases, relatively easily. It was already in me, I just didn’t, or couldn’t, see it.
Teachers and leaders are constantly guiding people into new territory. We see what is inside people (often things they can’t see themselves) and guide them, into becoming something they thought they couldn’t be.
So, as you begin this new year, what are your hopes and dreams that take some daring? What places are you hoping to guide the people you lead, even if they can’t see it themselves?
Happy New Year to all! May it be a daring and transformative one!