I often lead just a little bit of yoga in some unexpected places. I’m asked to warm people up at conferences, classes or even in church to open up the creative juices, get ready for meditation or get the blood flowing in the late afternoon.
So I lead them these mostly non-yogis through a short bit of circling arms, belly breathing and basic sun salutation that only involves Tadasana, Uttanasana Arha Uttanasana, which is standing, bending
and then bending half-way down before standing again. People invariably let me know how wonderful it is and I’m floored that they respond so enthusiastically to such a small amount of movement. This is when i feel the urge to recruit.
I constantly struggle with the question of exactly what am I supposed to be doing as a yoga teacher. Am I teaching poses? Am I leading a yoga session? Am I just creating space and time for students to get quiet and listen. But more and more I’m feeling like I’m some kind of motivational/inspirational yoga bullhorn.
And the more I start preaching, the more I have to remind myself to be gentle with people and treat them like sweet children. Because, really, people know what they need. They know what they’re not doing and they know what they should be doing. At least the people who are brave enough to chat with the yoga teacher after ten minutes of movement. Those are the people, I finally realize, that are just looking for a little encouragement. They’re ready to start taking those little baby steps. Their shaky smiles and shy glances are a way of connecting with yoga, even if it is just to acquaint themselves with a yoga teacher. Continue reading