My first reaction is of course not. I would not trust anyone to stand on me while I am bleeding. I feel a deconstruction is in order.
|That is Krishnamacharya during a demonstration, standing on
young Pattabhi Jois in kapotasana
At the time of the photo, Jois , depicted under the big K above, was between 12 and 14 years old. The naughty boy was sneaking out of his house, without telling his parents, and going daily to Krishnamacharya for yoga lessons before school. He knew, at that tender age, that the calling of yoga was his. The only thing he wanted was yoga, and he trusted his teacher wholeheartedly.
Even for a youngster getting to kapotasana would take a few months of study is my guess. So I would assume by then he knew him well, he trusted him, and he probably wanted to impress him.
Krishnamacharya, on the other hand, was at the peak of his career having been given a wing at the palace. A palace! Can you imagine? In those days? and to teach yoga, no less.
He had impressed the Maharaja of Mysore (who healed himself with his help) and with good reason. In his early 40s Krishnamacharya had 30 years of experience in yoga, which had started with him studying and debating scriptures at the age of 10.
|How would you like to teach in one of my wings?|
At the time of the photo, for what Sharath tells us, he had no idea that Jois was in pain. We hear from the grandson of Jois himself that when he saw what happened he asked immediately if he was OK to which Jois responded that he was.
Sharath, the main carrier of the Ashtanga lineage these days confessed that he would have screamed himself. So would I.
So, no, I would not do such thing. Pattabhi Jois and Krishnamacharya had a special relationship, one that we will never know about in full. One that we cannot really judge from a distance other than by making assumptions and imagining things.
Comparing ourselves and our teachers to them is like comparing bananas and pomegranates. They are just not the same thing.
|I like pomegranates|
These days we have so many people out there claiming to be yoga teachers, that it is more important than ever to exercise discrimination (see 12 suggestions to finding a good yoga teacher). That we are careful about who we trust and that we develop a relationship with a teacher over years.
For example, I trust Sharath in full. Perhaps it is the projections of my mind, a mind trick, call it what you will. I am guilty of it, and I say that because when he is near me, my body tends to be able to do things that normally it does not. His presence removes mental barriers it seems. Besides, when he adjusts me he is ever so gentle and careful that I would NEVER get hurt.
John Campbell, my teacher in NYC is also one that I trust. He has put in the hours, he is certified and has been teaching forever. He is also a humble person, someone who exudes trustworthiness. But you bet if I was bleeding I would stop him. In fact I have done this when one time he was helping me walk the hands towards the heels in Urdhva Dhanurasana and it was just too much for me. He totally understood.
I trust John. I have known him now for over 4 years. He knows my practice. Our student/teacher relationship developed slowly and over years, he knew when I lost my job and my whole life was in turmoil, he knew when I was getting married, even signed the card and contributed towards the pot present I got from all yogis (sweet them!). I also learned about his life and these days we have a very professional bond in which we share about the practice and about life, his retreats, Sharath coming over to the NY area, my going to Mysore, etc.
How many teachers do we know today that have been studying yoga for over 30 years in a serious way, you know? Krishanamacharya’s way (waking up at 4 studying it and practicing it all day long). Not many.
So these are not those times. Our teachers are not that teacher. And even if it was the big K, we must remember he did not know that was happening. If I was Jois, I would probably have said something. Then again, I am not that student.