I taught today. I teach most days. But today was one of those days that I’m so grateful for what I do.
Yoga is one of those things that people can talk themselves out of easily. We all know we should do it. It’s good for us. It makes us feel fantastic and yet, as soon as the weather gets nice, or the Olympics are on, or the bar down the street runs a special class size starts to dwindle. I’m sure it happens in spinning class too.
And it’s through the discipline of yoga that I’ve learned not to take it personally. Okay, there’s also a therapy saying, “It’s not all about you.” I think the 12-steppers say “You’re just not that important.” Whichever you like, I know it’s not about me. We’re all busy. We’re all crazy busy and we do what we can. Sometimes it’s cook for our kids, sometimes it’s hitting a yoga class. Because, let’s face it, most of us have to make those kind of decisions in our lives. In our every day lives.
So today was one of those days. It’s beautiful out. It snowed on Saturday and was bitterly cold (well, for Kansas) and today it was 60 degrees and I wore my new blue and green flip flops. So I know my students were thinking that a walk with the dog was just as good as yoga. And their kids were whining to go to the park and the dog was giving them that look. And I know that some of the more brave establishments set the outside tables and chairs up. And it would be a lovely day to sit out on the sidewalk and sip a margarita. ‘Cause it’s that kind of day.
So, at five minutes till I had one student walk in. And, luckily, she wasn’t one of those that fears the instructor and decides to leave immediately because she’s the only one there. She plunked right down on her olive green mat and looked at me. So I started class. Slowly, three more students wandered in. Hey! I had a class.
And each person got a little more attention today. And each person worked a little harder today, because I could take the time to really make sure they got it and really make sure they were doing it right. No one smiled during class today. Sometimes they don’t. They often stopped and rested, but they always went back to the pose. I mentally patted them on the back.
And when I got to headstand prep., in my all-levels class-with some weekend warriors, they worked at it. They came out of it, they adjusted and they went back to it! And they were beautiful. Every single one of them. Not because they did it perfectly. Not because they looked like they should be on the cover or Yoga Journal. And not because they’re the best group of yogis I’ve every had. They were beautiful because they were real and they struggled and one said she didn’t like it, but tried it two more times. They laughed gently at themselves and they looked a little lost. They were authentic and honest and real. And that’s beautiful.
At the end of class two people didn’t stay for the full savasana, even though we did viparita karani (legs up the wall), which is a crowd pleaser. Sometimes that makes me sad. I feel like they’re missing the most important pose. Today, it was okay. Today, every single student said Thank You and one told me it was great.
Now…it happens. It happens when you teach them poses they love. It happens when they ask for something and you provide, but today was different. Today they were there despite the beautiful weather and they worked hard and they did poses they didn’t like and they still thanked me.
And that’s when, for a different, new reason, but for the 4000th time, it hit me. I am so grateful to do what I do. I am so blessed to meet the people who I encounter in the yoga world. We all struggle and we’re all broken, but yogis do it with grace and aplomb and they say thank you for it.