They say that once you start working in the Biz (Show Biz, that is), you will never just watch a play or movie again. Unless the production is mind-bogglingly great, you will always notice an unfastened hook, a weird lighting shadow, an inconsistent sound cue, or an awkward blocking choice. Since it's your job to reveal the script in costume, set design, action or words, you watch all other attempts to do the same. Usually with a critical eye. Which isn't to say you can't enjoy the production, but you are always aware of what's going on behind the scenes.
The same could be said of teaching yoga. At least for me. While I enjoy the practice and being released of any responsibility to other students, I'm almost always watching. How is the teacher handling adjustments? How is his/her form? What's the energy of the space? How are the students responding? Can I remember that sequence for my class? The fluctuations of the mind usually aren't too calm.
That is, unless the teacher is mind-bogglingly great.
I went back to a teacher I really, really like in Madison today (Nicky Plaut). I had taken a few of her classes almost five years ago, but have been very much out of the habit of going to a regular yoga class. One resolution for this year was to get back into some one else's studio and revisit student-hood. How nice to be in the hands of a teacher with decades of experience and a quiet, forceful presence. What a good reminder that Virabhadrasana I and Bujangasana and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana can be very, very difficult poses--no need for bells and whistles and show-offy arm balances. My legs are killing me!
And for an hour and half I found myself in the place of a true student--following directions, being adjusted, depending on my breath to get me through a pose, and being grateful to some one with more experience for my practice. What a nice feeling to be back out of the Biz for awhile...