Finding Ru in my Gu

In Sanskrit the word guru means spiritual teacher. Gu means darkness and Ru means light. The job of the guru is to shine some light on those dark places so you can get rid of them. I just wanted to feel better. I wasn’t looking for a spiritual guide or anyone who babbled in sanskrit to me while I tried to do the poses. I popped into a Wednesday night class and lo and behold I found the teacher I needed. She was exacting and articulate in her instructions. Her demos were consice and clear. She whipped her shirt off and exposed her sports bra to demonstrate her shoulder blades or her abdomen or whatever we needed to see to understand what she wanted us to do. I thought she was the biggest badass I had ever encountered. She was serious about her yoga and she was as methodical as she was strong. She would pick up a student by their legs if they weren’t in the correct position in Viparita Karana (legs up the wall pose). I once saw her get stung by a bee while she was teaching. She didn’t flinch. She captured the bee and set it free outside. She did all this while not missing a beat in her instructions. I watched her more than once tell a student that they weren’t ready for her class and asked them to leave. I watched more than one person walk out of her class mid-class because they couldn’t stand her attention to detail and her demands that students pay attention too.

Each class, I still looked forward to savasana, but this teacher didn’t babble. Her instructions in savasana were in her same voice only softer and they were sensible instructions. I was smitten and looked forward to her yoga class each week. There is an expression in the yoga tradition that when the disciple is ready the guru will come.

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