So I'm just back home from teaching my favourite Yin yoga class, Sunday mornings, 90 minutes. I love all four of the classes I teach throughout the week, but perhaps because this one was the first class I ever taught, the first group, I have a special place in my heart for these wonderful women. That they accepted me, someone from out of town, out of province even(!), a newbie to teaching yoga, a new style of yoga not offered anywhere else in our town, with such positive energy and open-mindedness is so very humbling and awe-some. (emphasis on the "awe" I feel). I often feel this way, but today more so. Here's what happened:
As I circulated throughout the room on a couple of different poses, helping, advising, I realized that I care about these women, that I want them to get the most out of whatever pose we are in. I also realized how into it the majority of them are; one sweetheart literally jumped out of her skin when I softly approached to offer some advice that I thought might help her legs to relax more fully. She was that deeply into it! Another one, when I suggested she pull in her tummy to protect her low back, said that was very painful, just pulling in her tummy, and I sensed that she felt quite anguished about that. So I told her, no, don't go into pain at all, and gave her a modification she'd been doing months ago after the initial low-back injury she suffered. She came to talk to me after the class, asking me for poses that would help strengthen her low back, and telling me she'd had some blood work done indicating there were issues with her digestive system, specifically kidneys. So interesting! Chinese medicine says that the energetic health of the kidneys rules the general health of the low back, something the blood work supported! I felt like, wow. Epiphany. I believe these theories, whole-heartedly, but to see it before your eyes...well. Then she thanked me also for what I'd said today, saying it had really helped her, as she's feeling really frustrated with the lack of continued progress, namely the last 20% or so to full restored health. I realized that I'd talked about loving-kindness towards ourselves, treating ourselves gently, like we would a child or a very good friend, right in the opening meditation. This is something I continually, but even more so now that I have less stress since I'm no longer teaching school, have to work on with myself. I can be SO HARD on myself, downright mean. Lately I've consciously started saying affirmations, trying to arrest the flow of negativity to myself at times when I notice it, turning it around into a positive thought... tough work after 40 years of meanness to my self. But this is a topic for another post! Anyhow, I felt humbled when I reflected upon what I'd said that would mean a lot to her, and help her, and also wowed, I guess, that these women, and the occasional man ;-) actually do pay attention to my words.
Lastly, after class, because it's cloudy here today, I said I probably should have kept in my little metaphor I got from one of my previous yoga teachers that I just love, where we raise our arms up to the blue sky and smiling sun that we know is up there, even when it's cloudy or dark, and place some of the sun's light and healing energy at our hearts. One of the students said, "Yes! I missed that!" This was the first class since I started teaching, July 1, that I haven't done that. So yay, and wow, it has resonance with them.
Anyhow, I guess it goes to show that what we say has resonance and meaning with those around us who hear our words. Yes, I know this, yes, I believe it, but it's worthwhile to be shown once in a while. I'm new enough to teaching yoga that I hope I never take teaching a class for granted, just going through the motions, that I always give the best of myself to the students and to honouring the practice. I know I did this over my 30-year teaching career, so I believe I certainly will when teaching yoga.
Have a wonderful Sunday!