Thursday, 19 June 2014

giving and receiving

As a yoga instructor I have moments where I waiver between “am I doing the best I can for my students” and days where I can feel pretty confident about what I send out. I personally think that if we ever enter a room and think even for the smallest of moments that ‘I know it all’ and if anyone does not ‘get what I give… It ‘s their issue’, we need to leave the teaching arena.

I am cautiously optimistic about every class that I move into. My variables are of course, my students. How well do we really know them? Their battles? We may never know especially if they don’t feel the trust to come forward and ask questions about their needs. I will walk in with a class prepped and move into the first few poses and realize that even though I began by asking if anyone was new, people are shy. I don’t have the opportunity to be at the front desk so I rely on his or her willingness to wave at me when I ask if anyone is new. Some are too shy to do so. So I find out, if you will, in the field.

At that moment the script is thrown out. Then we move with the room. For me this has been an amazing learning opportunity and completely organic growth. I have learned so much from my students and am eternally grateful to them. My students are and forever will be, my greatest teachers.

I was moved to tears today. I met “Ed” about a year ago. A cheerful soul who has a permanent smile on his face. It was hard not to notice his presence because he radiated abundant kindness. It was about a month after meeting him that he asked me about meditation and its effects on the body and does the physical body need to be in certain positions or states to do it? We had many conversations and exchanges that left room for deeper learning and more intense conversations. Not once did any part of me scream… “This guy is in pain.”

Today Ed came up and thanked me after class. Told me he is going on a one-year excursion around the world. WOW! I ask my students to send me a picture of them in a yoga pose so I can hang it on my yoga room sangha wall. He agreed, and I gave him my email. This is the email I received.

“Thank you again for your guidance during my practice in the mornings yoga classes. Over the last couple months, the lessons I learned from you helped me overcome bouts of drug-induced mental illness and the psychological fallout that came from that.

The compassion, kindness, and humor you emanate is an inspiration and gave me strength to make a full-recovery and embark on the new path I'm heading down. I'm looking forward to continuing my practice and sending you a picture for your wall, of me on some distant continent in a pose you taught me. *hug*”

We do not know what will walk in. We just need to be open to receive it. Humbly and full of gratitude… thank you Ed. What you have just done for me is immeasurable.

Shanti Om - Tally Young
Tally is a certified instructor who currently teaches at a variety of places in Winnipeg.
She is participating in the YCW 200hr Teacher Training

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