After a wonderfully fun, yet long weekend of auntie time with my ten and seven year old nieces it was very hard for me to get to class this evening, not to mention my still tired and sore muscles. However, in the wind and grey of the day I walked myself the very short distance between my home and Shree for a most wonderful class that I am so happy I mustered up the chutzpah to attend. This is one of the things about yoga I come to learn repeatedly over and over, especially when I do a challenge; if I don’t feel like going I probably really need it, and it will benefit me more than if I were chomping at the bit to get myself on the mat.
Tonight Liz opened her class with a simple and sweet statement, that she is thinking of her students all the time. A teacher myself, I resonated with her sentiment as I too think of my students all the time, and am constantly absorbing inspiration in order to offer inspired teachings. Liz than offered another truth of teaching yoga, that she just wasn’t feeling so inspired today, and that the inspiration for her class came from an article on teaching yoga that requested the teachers stop teaching and share their personal experience.
Sharing her own experience is exactly what Liz did as she taught a sequence of poses that she enjoys doing, which surprisingly for me began with a short warm up and went straight to handstand. If you have been following me on this journey than you are informed of my current physical reality, and the recovering I have been doing in my body after falling down stairs last June. This said, doing handstands is not so much in my repertoire these past months, to which I will add the addendum of sad because I love standing on my hands. Tonight however, I choose not to hesitate, I courageously went for it, and my body responded even more surprisingly with kindness.
Though Liz opened class by sharing that she was not feeling so very inspired today, as a student in her class this evening, my personal experience was enhanced and inspired by the honesty of her sharing. For me, this is one of the most beautiful qualities of what I consider a “good” yoga teacher, as well as one of the highlights of the human experience, when we share our more shadowy, resistant, guilt ridden and even shameful experiences, when we share our sufferings and our pains, our lack of inspiration, our humanity, we remind one-another that we are all journeyers on the path of learning, with an opportunity to revel in the perfection and lessons of our imperfections. As I write this, I think perhaps tonight’s class was the most inspired of Liz’s classes I have ever attended, though all of Liz’s classes touch my heart, this one echos in my spirit, and to top it all off, after class my body continues to feel better than it has in months! I shared this glorious liberation of freedom from pain in my body with Liz and a couple of my yoga friends, and one of them asked “Why do you think that is?” My answer, “perhaps all the yoga I have been doing, perhaps all the good acupuncture, massage, and energy work I have been getting, but most likely, the work I have been doing between my ears.” Now is my opportunity to share, though this year has been about healing my body the more challenging work I have been doing has been in my mind, repairing and transforming my thoughts and my perspective of myself. Truthfully no matter how much yoga we do, or how much we smile, I don’t think anyone always feels inspired, or great, or on top of the world, myself included. It’s human nature to fall apart, break down, and sludge through the muck of our lives from time to time. It is in the hard times that we are given great opportunity to expand out of the contraction of our limited perspectives, our attachments to our old ways of being that bog us down in suffering, our fear of changing and our fear of what lays ahead in the unknown. Every day is a wonderful day to transform, to share our stories, to listen and to learn. Everyday is a wonderful day to love ourselves as we are, and find gratitude in the opportunity to be with the teachings, the good and the hard, to see the light that brings us out of darkness, out of our ignorance, to call out the elephant in the room, to attempt to stand on our hands and take a whole new view of the world.
Ultimately in the end, the biggest teaching of tonight’s class was the reminder that every moment, every person, and every thing we encounter in our unique personal experiences of life is a potential teacher, and our blessed gift to share. This is the Guru Tattva, the teaching of the Guru, that which brings light to the darkness, and in this bright and glorious light Liz closed our magical and powerful class with a beautiful chant, a sweet reminder, “Om Namah Gurudev”, Salutations to the Great Teacher, the Auspicious one, Always Present.
Thank you Liz.
With love, always in all ways, for giving,