The classroom is simply the arena in which we can witness our deeply ingrained habits in all their glory.
I stumbled upon this article and couldn't stop myself from realizing how appropriate these words are for me to read. Even down to the "Devil that you know" quote which is an old line from a co-worker. Samskaras are very real, and nowhere are they as obvious and on display than on the mat.
We all have patterns and we all repeat ourselves. It takes an extended period of interaction to identify these samskaras and I believe this is one reason why relationships get harder post-honeymoon, when partners begin to really see each others samskaras. Whether the cause stems from a previous life is beyond my ability to equivocate, but the reality of our samskaras really does affect our daily lives within this physical existence and as such seems very worthy of attention.
Since this blog is all about me anyway, I'll go ahead and make this personal. Below is a list of some of my most annoying samskaras:
- Self depracation (for sport or sometimes just because it feels good)
- Punctuality (despite knowing this is my issue, it surfaces almost every day for me)
- Written and verbal discipline. (Talk less, say more)
- Inability to say no (fear of missing out)
- Priorities (I think this is one area I've made progress with)
I love the mental imagery of samskaras as dirt on the mirror of the soul. Perhaps it's the type-A in me who instantly wants to wipe any dirty mirror clear and clean. I realized today that I've probably regressed in many of these key areas as my practice has slipped due to teaching, work, and a relationship taking up some of the space which was previously available. I suppose that is yet another one reason why I love to practice. The mat calms me down. The mat helps me locate my center. And the mat helps me identify my areas of growth, the parts of my soul which have opportunity for growth.
The beautiful thing about taking the seat of a teacher is that I've seen this in my students. Now that I have enough experience to identify certain patterns, particularly among repeat students, I am privileged to see all of the subtleties of their practice which they may not even notice. From camping out in the exact same spot of the room to how each pose is expressed, personalities are on display and samskaras are on the surface of those mirrors. Watching all of that, knowing that I am not alone in my quest to transform, help me to dedicate myself to this intention.