Photo Description: My wheel pose (Eka Pada Chakrasana) on my paddle board.
Continuation from blog post “The Joys of Teaching Yoga”
Reason #2: Bestowing a gift, a blessing of self-compassion.
Have you ever experienced a yoga class for the first time and thought, “Why have I not been involved in the practice of yoga before?” Or maybe you are a regular class goer, if so, have you been filled with a longing to return the next day? Longing to be filled with the joy of discovering what your body is capable of? Have you been challenged to calm the mind, strengthen the body, and bring about restoration and change deep down into the core of your very existence? Have you wanted to let others know about your most recent class and have them share in the same experience? Have you rested in Savasana at the end of a class, just bubbling over with peace for a rejuvenating few moments in time, fully able to rest your mind, your body, and your soul? If not, maybe you’ve been walking in and out of the wrong class over and over, rather than the one that is perfect for you!!!
Yoga has become such a part of my daily life. The calm that yoga brings to my mind, the peace it brings to my spirit, the joy it brings to my heart, and the smile it brings to my face, are all worth sharing with the world around me. I know the changes that have occurred within my life from walking down this healing road. To discover pure joy and incredible satisfaction in entering a class as a student and as a teacher each day, cannot and should not be contained only for myself. I have learned that a passion in life for what I love, is not worth sharing at all, if it is not offered as a gift to others out of the deep emotions of my own heart.
In every class I teach I become the student as well, asking myself the same questions as those I listed above. I enter each class noticing, observing with watchful eye, and ready with a gracious heart. Throughout the class I am aware, are the students experiencing their fullest potential? Have I encouraged them to succeed in helping them make the best use of their time with clear direction, attention to posture, and good alignment? Have they smiled, have they had a little giggle, have I helped ease their mind of worry, of competing, of comparing? Have I spoken in love, with a smile on my own face, and brought a sense of peace, of calm, of grace to the room? Can the students feel my grace enough to want to open their own life up to grace, to compassion for who they are deep inside? Are they experiencing healing, restoration, and a deeper understanding behind the purpose of this yoga class they have given their precious time to enjoy?
After the journey of a yoga class has come to a gentle close, I know that my efforts were a gift of love, a blessing from my heart, and a journey shared from my own experiences. I have traveled down a new path with the students. Has this path challenged them? Has it helped them to face the day with greater purpose, and a deeper love for self? Have I opened up a deeper part of who I am in every class that I teach, discovering the student within as I give of my time to teach others? Becoming vulnerable to the eyes looking back at me, but standing strong in the grace I have grown to know for myself, gracing others with this yoga that I love. The greatest blessing one can bestow upon oneself is self-compassion. It is my hope as I teach yoga that the student discover this blessing for the one life they have been given, the gift of self-compassion.