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  • Writer's pictureSusan Martin

Every Teacher Is Different

Updated: May 3, 2021

I started taking Kundalini yoga about six months ago. I’d been longing to attend for awhile, but kept letting my (very long list of) responsibilities get in the way. I used to wonder why my mother would stomp around complaining that there were not enough hours in the day when I was a teenager. Well, I know now that she was right. There aren’t enough hours in a day. I don't stomp around and complain, though. I just kinda resign myself to the reality - go with the flow.

Anyways, I love my Kundalini yoga class and really wanted to kick myself for not taking it earlier once I started going. It totally rejuvenates my soul. My teacher is Guru Mitar at Goorus. She is perpetually positive. A little zany. A lovely soul. Her class incorporates music and sound. That had been really missing in my life. I’m addicted now. I go twice a week and, if I can’t attend for some reason, it’s a bit of a day damper for me. I can, however, take ownership of my practice and not depend solely on class. I have enough skills to do it on my own at home (hint, hint for you potential Bradley® students - you need skills to be able to do it on your own!)

There was a period of time when my teacher was away on a yoga retreat, so we had substitutes in class. Whoa! Each teacher was really different. If you are not familiar with Kundalini yoga, there are specific scripts, postures, and movements that are followed. Conceivably one could think that every class, no matter who the teacher was, would be basically the same.

But, you know, that was not my experience. It was really stunning. We had two different teachers and the energy that each brought to the room, the ways the postures were incorporated, music or no music, type of music, the words they used, the transitions in the classroom – all was different. Both substitutes were so different from each other, and both from Guru Mitar, that it left a real impression on me. - that each teacher truly is unique and different.

I think childbirth education is the same, including the Bradley Method®. As Bradley teachers, we are supposed to teach the 12 units of education and cover the main essentials. This is a terrific foundation for creating a worthwhile and effective class. But, each teacher brings in her own experiences, her beliefs, additional training, and her skill set; she understands the material in her own way and shares it in her own way. She creates a class unique to her. There is the occasional Bradley teacher who teaches jointly with their partner. I can get my husband to come say ‘hello’, but he balks at the teaching part – you’ll just be seeing the dust rising as he runs for the hills at the thought of teaching! What I live for, he cannot fathom. But, hey, I feel the same way about hiking. The heights and challenges that he loves, I cannot fathom (I am the one running for the hills – well, actually, I just get really stubborn and intransigent. I balk like a mule. You are simply not going to get me to go on certain hikes – sorry!)

For me, I love teaching and I feel passionate about helping families prepare for this big life transition. Because of the training my husband and I missed from our class experience, I do a lot of hands-on, interactive training, building up over the three months. I do not skip over material that can be uncomfortable, but is really important for you to know to make informed choice. I have a deep respect for the consciousness of babies and love to incorporate my Pre-and-Perinatal Educator training into class. Bradley® is so totally PPNE, family, and baby-centered. It’s slow and steady. Practical and purposeful. Truthful, yet supportive. Goal-oriented, yet compassionate.

Just so you know, I think about you all when I am in Kundalini class. We hold certain poses and do movements that are as long or longer than contractions. Got to focus on the breath. Got to believe in yourself. Got to work through it to get to the other side. Sometimes, poses are so hard, I’m thinking – “Okay, I did natural childbirth, surely I can do this!” Sometimes, I see it through to the end. Sometimes, I give up prematurely. Just get back into ring. Breathe through. Believe in yourself. Be here now. Sometimes, that’s the best we can do. And it's all that's needed.

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