Today’s post is from Rose, who teaches in the UK (Brighton! Whoo!). Yay, Rose!.
Shiva Nata Teaching – An Insight of Flight
I began “Dancing Shiva” as I call it because I don’t like freestyle movement, nor having to do something a certain way. I loved the idea that I could focus on numbers, spatial cues, colours, words, as well as how I felt.
I felt safe in the knowledge that there was a structure that still allowed freedom. I could learn the positions, and then apply them in endless streams of patterns. I could use them in flow, or staccato like a robot.
These days, I mix the moves in with yoga and belly-dance moves, often to the sound of pop and rock music.
It’s a Tuesday afternoon. I head online to check the forums. Someone’s added me as a friend and I look at the message.
“I would LOVE to learn first level Shiva Nata.. and I can travel to Brighton if necessary.”
Sit back. Inhale. Confusion. I haven’t mentioned on my profile that I even practise Shiva Nata, let alone that I could teach it. Yet…I’ve been practising over a year, I’m about half way through level 2.
Well, yes, of course I could teach level 1. I guess?
* bing *
I’ve taught meditation. I have taught one session of Shiva Nata (the week only one person showed up for meditation). I learnt the science behind it during my degree. I feel confident explaining it to others. I already have a blog post I can direct people too. I trust the practise.
I. Could. Do. This.
Look at any biography I’ve ever written and you’ll find a hidden dream, slipped between the lines:
I want to teach.
Not historical battles in a classroom with loud kids who don’t want to be there… but adults. And not just night school classes; but something they can’t get elsewhere. I want to be unique and to provide something that will enhance every moment of their life; help them reach that potential.
I sent back a friendly “sure, it’d be amazing to meet another Shivanaut” response and forgot about it.
A few hours later I’m listening to the Dust off the DVD teleclass and I begin doodling the horizontal positions – just stick arms without a head or body; moving in robotic shifts.
Half-way through, I look down and see that I’ve written out the numbers 11 22 33 44 and suddenly started a column of “what’s hard, what’s easy, what I love about it” and suddenly…
* bing *
I want to give people wings, and exercises to strengthen those muscles.
I see a butterfly, taking off from a leaf. This image was the inspiration for my blog, the point of light in my discovery of reaching potential… and I see the wing movements… It’s shiva nata.
The wing moves up and out.. H1 H1 then goes down.. to V4 V4 then in to H2 H2 as the wings touch their belly before they flow forwards; to V3 V3 then out to H1 H1 again…
Watch a butterfly in slow motion (or like me, imagine you can see a butterfly taking off in slow motion).
Flying is Dance of Shiva.
I want to teach people to fly.
I could teach Shiva Nata.
As I scribbled down things I’d make sure I told the beginners, I run out of room on my page, and switch to making a worksheet on my laptop. An hour later, I’ve a lesson plan with timings for each section, diagrams of the four horizontal positions and a list of materials I’d need to teach this in my own style.
The doubts settle in. Yet, I am resolved.
I’ve had this thought before — last year when my twitter friend began teaching her book-group; I thought about how I co-run two University societies and that if I had two people willing to learn, I’d be willing to teach. But fear stopped me.
This time, I send the woman who originally requested a lesson a message explaining that I have materials and am happy to meet up. The doubts were still creeping up on me though.
You can’t even do level 1 with legs or all of level 2 yet!
You don’t know enough!
You’ve not got an official qualification.
There’s no worksheet on how to teach this you can call upon when it all goes wrong.
I flitter over to Havi’s teacher training page and I re-read one sentence until I hear the voices quieten.
Even if all you know so far is a chunk of Level 1? That’s enough to start.
While they’re learning arms, you learn the legs. While they learn legs, you can learn Level 2.
As long as you’re one or two steps ahead of your students – and committed to practicing while you teach — you’ll be fine.”
And just to prove to myself and those monsters that I could do this; I stand up and go through the arms of Horizontal level 1. Then vertical. Then I throw in some level two transquarters and the bit of level 2 I can do. Then I tentatively move my legs.
That’s more than enough to teach horizontal arms to a beginner. Besides, I need to be able to do it wrong and show them that that’s okay.
And if they catch up with me, then we’ll teach each other.
As the voices cease, I nod emphatically.
I could call it “Insight to Butterfly Flight” and call upon my societies, the pagan pub moot I attend and the four-five Shivanauts I know in England. I could print out worksheets, set myself-and-them the same homework to keep it mixed up and we could conquer this together.
Maybe I really do this; maybe teaching is something I can do.
Just maybe I can offer people those wings.
(If you’re anywhere near London or Brighton in the future and want to learn with another practitioner, please say hi.)
And if I can teach it; maybe you could too.
Rose is @celestialrose on Twitter.