Good morning, or night or afternoon, wherever or whenever you join me. Time to fill you in a bit more about my class. While I knew I’d be learning a lot about yoga and stretching, I had no idea how much of the class would be spent looking beyond my postures and into my heart. I think we all to some degree spend a fair amount of time considering ourselves, our actions, our thoughts and our feelings. It’s human nature. But life is busy for most of us, and distractions are ever present, so we can sail through days, months, and even years in a kind of status quo.
That’s been the case for me the last few years. I had my plate full taking care of my mom, moving, working and commuting regularly to the bay area for work, and making time to enjoy my loved ones. This class is clearly going to allow me the opportunity to reconsider old ideas or patterns, decide if they are still working for me, and change them if they aren’t.
Each student is required to spend a fair amount of time speaking in front of the group. After all, public speaking is a prerequisite for teaching yoga, so it’s important to become comfortable with that. Unfortunately, it’s NOT comfortable for the average person, and especially if you find yourself in front of a room of strangers and you are being asked to tell the group why you are crying. (Do you guys have some time on your hands? This may take a while.) I’m not certain if all yoga instructor classes are like this one, but our teachers encourage each of us to share what we are feeling as we go through this process. There was no shortage of tears last weekend, and I’m confident that was only the tip of the iceberg for this group of amazing old souls.
You see, each student came to this class with different desires and needs. And after listening to each of my classmates over the weekend, I would have to say that even though we package our needs in different wrapping, bottom line is that we are all there to heal in some way. I was so touched by each story, and so happy to be connecting with these souls for the next five weeks in their individual journeys.
You might ask, what are some of the reasons my teammates have chosen this class. And I thought it would be nice to share a few of the backgrounds throughout my posts (of course, with their permission) but to serve as an inspiration for anyone who might be reading this blog and have similar feelings or know someone who does. Yoga is just one approach to healing or change, but the bottom line is, there is always help if we put our need out to the universe. It’s up to us to be brave enough to, at least internally, acknowledge our true feelings. But once we take that step, it is amazing how quickly life answers us. Kenny always rings true … endless second chances to take it one chance at a time. It is never too late to reinvent yourself when makin’ it don’t make it any more.
I wrote in an earlier blog what my reasons for joining the group were … generally a desire to return to taking care of my body. This old girl (referring to my physical body) has been taking good care of me without proper maintenance or nurturing these past few years. She’s overdue for some attention and a good old-fashioned overhaul (I’m sounding a bit like a jalopy, right?)
But one weekend into this experience, I’m a little suspicious that my needs go a little deeper than that, and that I’ve manifested this experience to also help me heal and mourn my mom’s passing. And most likely, there’s more I’m still unaware of. But at this juncture, this is the view I see on my horizon.
I was so moved by each person’s story, but the one I will start with is a woman in her forties who was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago. Outwardly she is the picture of health … strong, fit, with an outgoing and friendly personality. But when she began to speak, I doubt there was a dry eye in the house as she described the fear she lives with on a daily basis … afraid she is going to die of cancer. She expressed how tired she is of living in fear and that she chose this path to find a peacefulness and heal not only her body, but maybe more importantly at this point, her soul.
I doubt there’s many readers that can’t relate to this in some form or another, whether it’s cancer or some other life-threatening disease, and whether it’s fear for yourself or a loved one … we’ve all been there. It’s a lonely and frightening place. I look forward to watching her crusade against the fear, and have no doubt I will learn much from her journey.
On a lighter note, there was no shortage of down dogs, up dogs, and my body was doggone tired by Sunday afternoon (by about 2:30 all I could think was enough with the dogs!!) We practiced both instructing and being instructed. And you’d be surprised how hard it is to guide a pose when just learning, “inhale plank pose exhale … uhhh …. uhhh …. inhale again … no, exhale again …. long pause … people’s faces turning red … need to think … what’s next … mind is a blank …” It really was hilarious. We all were novices and everyone held poses for prolonged periods of time while the “practicing teacher” was working through the mixed up jumble of words clogging their brains. It was a pretty good workout. Lots of laughter and camaraderie as we each struggled with what might seem to be such an easy task.
But isn’t that life? All beginnings can be challenging as we slowly learn to master the baby steps, until one day we sail through that which at first seemed so difficult.
Tonight we begin weekend 2. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again. And this week when I pass Carmelita’s Restaurant next door, I may still eye the good-looking meals, but I will not be yearning to duck inside and call Rick to come rescue me. I will be content to try their cuisine at some date in the future when this adventure is complete. I have no doubt I will most likely be sitting there in tears as I wax nostalgic about my experience in this amazing class.
Moving forward … baby steps. Life is good.