By Billy Sadia
Posted in Africa Yoga Project Blog, on November 01, 2013
The definition as we know it, is the creativity and professionalism involved in helping another person in a given circumstance. The focus of this sharing is to highlight what assisting means to me as a yogi.
The art of assistance to me is like playing a parent, mentor, role model, tour guide etc. My ultimate goal during assistance is to leave the person I am assisting in their greatest by simply encouraging them and empowering them to reach their utmost in their individual levels. As a parent, I wish to teach them independence which means leaving room for them to go the extra yard with as little as a smile and or a pat on the shoulder to light up their path. As a mentor, I wish to inspire and leave them in their higher self esteem and confidence. As a role model, I wish to be a reminder of the importance of linking breath to movement and that we can always rely and anchor on our breath especially in the most challenging physical poses which also translates to challenging situations in our life. As a tour guide, I wish to guide them into an adventurous self, lead them to explore whatever is possible for them in every pose and situation, lead them to new discoveries and still leave room for astonishment.
The art of assisting is a humbling experience for me. It is a constant reminder for me to push aside my ego and be of service. Lay a low profile enough to feel myself in others that I assist. It teaches me humility, love and compassion. Without these ingredients assisting can be quite an uphill task I tell you. This is a two way traffic relationship between the assistant and the assisted. They love and respect you enough to allow you to touch and guide them just as much you love and respect them enough to want to help them into their greatest.
The basics of a good assist as shared by mentors Billy and Maggie of AYP are that you always start from the foundation. The assisting itself is a foundation in its own sense. Let me elaborate; the foundation is being in touch with yourself, sorting your own issues before you assist. Being authentic, staying in the present moment, one assist to another, they are all unique, beautiful and wonderfully made persons. The foundation means relaxing with what is. The foundation is keen observation and identifying facts minus the story of how a certain pose is supposed to be or look like. If we lay well the foundation/floor tiles/slabs we can walk on them the entire time. Start assisting from your authentic self and you will enjoy uplifting others to their greatest. Use the basics of a good assist and make a direct application in life, and you will forever feel fulfilled in your deeds.
This is how close the art of assisting is to my heart; raise your right hand up if this resonates with you.