As a yoga teacher I hope that my students actually learn things other than poses on the mat. I hope that they learn to be more patient, as they find that poses take time and energy and mostly time. I hope that they learn peace as they find the poses that work on their parasympathetic nervous system, helping them to relax and repose. I hope that they learn to be strong in both body and mind as poses teach their muscles as well as their minds to just hold on a little bit longer. I wish for them love and compassion as they learn to open their hearts and release their fears.
Today I was reminded of everything I’ve learned on the mat. The body we develop through yoga is the by-products of the physical practice, even the piece of mind and the sense of peace that we get from the physical practice is just a by-product. Because the physical is just a teeny tiny part of the practice of yoga.
I had one of those days, today. I tried to do laundry and my car wouldn’t start. So my husband jumped my car. I got to the laundry mat and the change machine didn’t work, and so I got into my car to get change and my car didn’t start again. What I thought was being not mindful actually turned into a problem with my car.
Later, I tried to work out and I felt sick and terrible. Welcome, you know who. Then after inviting my husband to join me for the work out and the yoga that I was to teach, we settled in for a coffee. Ah, a few quiet moments before back to back classes, AH!!!! I realized that in switching cars I’d also left all my yoga gear back at the house. Holy *?/*@*^ (what ARE those symbols they use?)
So, there was a lot of rushing around. A lot of Oh S**** what am I going to do? and the universe had the good sense to remind me that my hubbie was there and he could drop me off and run to the house to pick up the yoga gear. And somehow the universe had the good sense to help me get through the beginning of class sounding like a sane person. And I challenged my students and while they laughed, they didn’t groan. And I got to be present in my teaching and teach a good class where I felt like I’d done some good and helped some people and accomplished what I’d set out to.
And as my first afternoon class was ending I realized that I was able to do all that because of yoga. I could be present and focused enough to teach. It had to be yoga. Because that’s not who I naturally am. Naturally, I’m a bit of a spaz and a drama queen.
But with the help of yoga I can un-spaz and be centered and focused and let go of the drama queen.
We are who we are at birth in our most perfect form. We’re wonderful and fabulous. Then, we have life set upon us, our chemistry is altered. When a child is yelled at, made to feel guilty or bad, that child’s brain chemistry changes. I am who i am by circumstance and nature. As are you.
We get to alter that by how hard we’re willing to work. We can incorporate any kind of work we’d like. For me, it’s been yoga for the last 15 years. And I’ve learned.
I’ve learned!! Really, it’s wonderful and exciting and fun. I’ve learn through my experiences both on and off the mat how to be fun and centered, focused and calm. I know hot to let go and release, be present and focused.
And it’s amazing and fun and wonderful. I’ve learned!! And it’s all the more fabulous because I’ve learned without really realizing how much I’ve learned or grown to understand.
And so I wish this for my students. i hope get something out of yoga other than that most obvious benefits. And if they haven’t? That’s okay, because they’ve taught me. I’ve learned through them how to be better.
Oh, maybe this should have been a gratitude post.