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Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Day 8 of 21: Teaching Tap

I was nervous to introduce the EFT/Tapping idea to my chair yoga class, seeing as I'm not trained in the technique other than having been led a few times through it in the class I'm taking, and I'm practicing on my own. But having had some energetic success, I thought "Why not?" I mean, why not be confident enough to know that I understand the general concept, that I would  be doing no harm, and in fact opening up a new way to express self-appreciation? It's gentle touch on the body, mantra, and breathwork, three things with which I'm familiar. I would be doing no psycho analysis and the caveats would be "stop if you feel uneasy" as always.

For the past week I have been emphasizing the importance of affirmation, not only because I'm learning about it in my class, but because as you've been reading, it seems to be working for me, to keep my chin above water, head up high, keep me motivated to move forward (or at the very least not move backwards). So much of what I teach is based on personal example (not an abstract picture of what some unattainable posture might suggest, or someone wrote in a book to which no one can relate). The way that I humanize the experience of practice I feel is what draws people back to my classes. I try not only to explain what I'm going through but also put myself into someone else's shoes (socks, feet, seat). That way I can offer options for the practice that fit other bodies. 

For example, affirmation isn't always "I am beautiful" or "I am strong." It might be "I feel connected to the earth energetically" to help someone ground, or even, "I am an integral part of my community. 

The tapping itself seems to wake up the body in a way that I did not expect. I admitted to the class that at first I was not a fan. I felt silly, I wasn't sure how to modulate the pressure of the tap, and I was easily distracted perhaps because I couldn't hold an affirmation in mind. 

So I offered them a list of affirmation, and we spent most of class working on asana and breath and grounding to create a sense of steadiness and being embodied. Then at the end of class I introduced the tapping process, suggesting that they keep the affirmation simple. Mine today was "I am a vibrant and beautiful person." 

I had us begin with the hand tap, then walked everyone through two rounds where I said my affirmation aloud, then for the last three I whispered mine so they wouldn't have my voice in their heads. 

After the fifth round, we sat quietly, with an instruction from me to just notice if there was any shift in perception, sensation, or thought pattern.

Once we concluded class I explained that what we had done was "EFT" and by all means they should investigate if they observed any response in their body, energy, etc. One woman shared that it was quite a calming experience for her.

For me, practicing as a guide, and for myself, I felt really energized, like I have the other two times. There was a buzz, and an empowerment, like a full body "Mona Lisa smile" that told me the technique had served it's purpose. 

I hope to guide the practice more. One tap at a time.

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