Teaching yoga outside the comfort of a studio can be intimidating at first, but wow, have I seen some beautiful gifts!
One of the handful of classes I taught at the park was one of my most memorable times as a young teacher. All these classes were during the summer, right around when all the most recent violent attacks have hovered over our country. I believe this specific evening was after the Orlando shooting. Love tends to surface often during my classes, and especially when I feel we are all suffering. There might have been 35 people or 70 people, I don’t recall. One sweet girl I do remember though.
She had not stepped onto her yoga mat in quite some time. Within the past several months or even few years, there was always a reason to avoid the practice that she once enjoyed. So for a long while, yoga was not in her life.
Until she came to this community class in the park.
After the class, she told me how grateful she was to come back to the practice. It was just what she needed. Not until she was present, in the community, in nature, did she truly understand what yoga meant to her. She was healing, and yoga opened up another window along this journey. The physical aspect had been beneficial, yes. But I believe it touched her heart more. Her kind and gracious tears said more than her words.
Yoga is cool like that. Certainly, it is a means of exercise and incredible for stress relief. Along the way, we gain flexibility, eliminate illnesses, and learn awesome poses. But we also focus on the breath, turn inward, and explore ourselves. It might sound ridiculous, silly, or not for you. But you never know how yoga can help until you try it.
I know how I feel in my practice, and I am aware how my body, emotions, mind, and soul are connected. Seeing that awareness and emotion in other yogis solidifies the spiritual practice in my eyes. Don’t get me wrong, I am so proud when students nail a crow pose or a forearm stand they have been working on for months. But witnessing people coming back to the practice of yoga for emotional needs makes me so happy too!
Yoga is so diverse, and literally anyone can do it. Restorative, hot yoga, vinyasa, Iyengar, Jivamukti, Sivananda, Ashtanga, chair, yin, laughing, hot 26, and so many more styles are available. Spiritual, emotional, mental, physcial needs differ in all of us. People start yoga to lose weight, finally touch their toes, get away from the kids, try something new, for stress relief, experience comminuty, reduce depression and anxiety, relieve headaches, heal from injuries, and so much more. Whatever brings you to the mat, acknowledge that and be thankful to be there.
I know I sure am.
Namaste and love,