Nov 27, 2013


i went to a yoga class at intercultera, my spanish school, a few weeks ago.  i wasn't sure what to expect.  when i arrived i had to confirm that i was in the right place.  there didn't seem to be anywhere to practice.  it was an open air patio, fairly large, full of young (teenage) germans (mostly) lounging around in hammocks and on benches reading or on smart phones. when i asked though, 'yes' they told me, 'this is where the yoga class is'. 

i almost left.  i'd had the crappiest day.  that morning i taught my first really bad yoga class.  or at least in my mind it was really bad.  i'd been beating myself up all day about what a failure i was as a teacher and how certainly everyone had noticed that i hadn't really had a plan and winging it had sort of failed.  the last thing i wanted to do was cram into this incredibly public, humid patio with a bunch of aloof germans unabashedly watching and sweat it out for an hour.  but i'd promised my friend shinez that i would meet her there and bring her shorts to borrow, so i had to stay.

the teacher showed up, an american, sweet and sort of spacey and friendly in that yoga teachery way.  i liked her; i stayed.  a surprisingly large amount of the youth rolled out mats in an incredibly small space at the center of the patio.  it started pouring rain.  there we were; flanked on one side by picnic tables full of mostly dudes, on one side by hammocks with frowning teenage girls, and on one side by a sheet of water spraying off the roof into the end of my mat.  just me and shinez and several rows of german chicks wearing civilian clothing.

it became really apparent during the first five minutes that most of them had no idea what the sweet, soft-spoken yoga instructor was saying.  the asides she was making about the poses and energy, etc were going right over their heads.  they kept looking around bewildered, talking and giggling to each other loudly in german and...... sort of lifting their arms and legs in weird non-committal versions of each pose.  shinez and i were by far the strongest and the whole class kept looking back to us for cues.  the people lounging around started taking photos with their smart phones.

the class itself was actually good.  but the crowning glory of bizarreness definitely came in savasana.  you know, corpse pose, the moment of utter release and rest where you are so relaxed it's as if you are dead.  the girls in our row talked and chattered and laughed and lay there carrying on conversations with the people watching the entire time.  at one point i cracked my eyes open and saw that someone was stepping through the bodies, walking over me, carrying a surfboard.  

it was the best savasana i have ever had.  

tears of joy were hiding behind my eyelids.  my soul was soaring.  i lay there amid the german patio party feeling such deep, deep gratitude for my students.  my beautiful students!  my students who got up at the crack of dawn most week days and practiced diligently.  who focused on their poses, and listened to what i said, and never had side conversations, and always relaxed in savasana.

i lay there in gratitude and realized that no matter what mistakes i made, no matter what fumbles of flow, or how insecure i felt;  nothing would ever be as comical as the class i had just experienced - and still enjoyed.  

i made it a point to thank the teacher and tell her how much i'd enjoyed the class and what a nice job i thought she'd done.  and i never taught one single class afterwards that didn't begin and end with a moment of appreciation for my lovely students.

here is one of them!  this is jessica..... she's one of the bendiest.... and has incredible focus.

No comments:

Post a Comment