When Did Somatic Teaching Become a Desk Job?
That is easy! mid-March 2020.
How do I feel about this?
That is a bit complicated.
Full discloser, I felt a few ways about teaching yoga, and Alexander in person face to face pre mid-March 2020.
For decades I have been honing my sense of proprioception to the point of being able to invite other people to see and feel their own proprioception. I can somehow quantify the ingredients of the velocity of other human’s movement and thinking patterns. Get this, I can even engage with their nervous systems so they can learn to see inside their very own velocity and learn to interact with and even steer their own inner selves. There were times I would think what a cool thing to be able to do, what a great service. And there were other times I would think how did I become a tour guide of other people’s inner workings? Even back in the day, I had some feelings about this rather unusual skill set.
Now we know those times and those feelings are of a simpler bygone era.
That was then.
This is now. It has been over a year that this pandemic has been with us.
The feelings I feel now, the feelings I feel all kinds of ways about now are the feelings I feel in and about interacting with my somatic community via the Zoom Room.
I feel disembodied.
I feel like my hands are tied behind my back. Even more than that,
I feel like my tongue is tied because my hands and my tongue are connected. I wish my sense of sight could see what is really happening.
I feel inadequate.
I feel misunderstood.
I feel arrogant.
I feel annoyed.
I feel like part of the problem, and I am stomping the earth with a huge white privilege step. I look at the screen and there is proof. I ask myself “Where are the black and brown people?”, and “What the fuck am I doing?” Have I learned nothing of social justice this year? Am I taking any steps in the correct direction?
I feel racist.
Having to use words without being able to have those words be encompassed in my proprioceptive self I say stupid, sexist, overly bodily inappropriate things. I have actually made reference to and complimented people’s beautiful biceps, their haircuts, their new yoga tights. I am worse than an inappropriate hair smeller, I am an inappropriate body smeller with no sense of smell.
WTF. OMG I AM A PREVERT.
I feel like Blanche DuBois.
I feel like a fake.
I feel like a fraud.
I feel ineffective.
I feel I am doing damage to my art.
I feel I am doing damage to my community.
In the Zoom Room my muscles, tendons, and joints in my neurons aren’t able to communicate with me. My central nervous system does not have access to my ability to internally guide myself, let alone others across the screen divide. Help! I am an integrated multi-dimensional sensory corpuscle and have been assigned a one-dimensional desk job.
I feel sad.
I feel stupid.
I feel inadequate.
I feel lost. I look at the screen.
I see Jamie. She is making, creating, experiencing such splendid shape, movement, stillness situation. I praise her line. I praise her posture. I praise her asana. I remind her to go looking inside to make a note of what she is thinking to command such a presence of self.
That was a good Zoom moment! I pointed her thinking in a decent direction.
One of her cats comes and joins her. What a lovely cat.
I feel grateful to have been included in her internal thinking.
I feel lucky to get to know her cats a little bit.
I feel, I hope that some self- awareness is being summoned, some internal and external interaction is happening for the people in my Zoom Room. Some somatic experience is being experienced. Wait! What? My students? My people? WTF? Who am I? Some kind of owner of people?
I feel clingy.
I feel scared.
I feel mushy.
I feel low self-esteem.
I feel like a deer stuck in a headlight.
And there they are again, on the screen, in their homes, PRACTICING. In their own locations practicing. Durham NC, NYC, New Mexico, Florida, Poland…
I remember. They remind me. I feel most my best person, most alive, when I am of service. I look at the screen and there are people offering themselves to helped, to be steered, to be encouraged. I can do that!
I feel grateful.
I feel inspired.
I feel awe.
I feel honored.
I feel connected.
I feel useful.
I feel I am doing a service to the sweet community I am a part of by showing up on my side of the screen.
I feel love.
I feel lucky.
I feel all kinds of ways.
xo Suzanne Faulkner