Remembering

I co-taught my first yoga class on Sunday.

Many weekends and evenings of practice and feedback culminated in a rather surreal walk to the front of the room at Yoga Tree Telegraph.

I was blown away after taking a seat on the teacher's mat in front of the class and seeing - for the first time -what practicing yoga looks like from that perspective. Most of the eyes that were meeting mine were entirely new. There were a few friendly faces that had come specifically to support me, but I was also staring out at strangers.

I tend to get caught up in the technical aspects of teaching because so much of my day job depends on making the right choices. Moving into a place of leadership where feeling and intuition are more important than thinking has been incredibly challenging for me - but freeing as well. I have always relied upon the rational side of my brain. I am only now in the process of learning to trust the feeling part of me.

As I knelt down to help a student in dolphin pose, showing her how to clasp her hands to be more comfortable and supportive of her shoulders, it was easy to remember being new to yoga and work with her from that place. When I am assisting, I find myself dropping into feeling almost instantly - because the intention is to make that person feel MORE.

Where does that feeling come from? I have to draw from what I know - from how I experience yoga.

I was scared on Sunday. Nervous and anxious and a whole host of other emotions. But yoga has never failed me. Years of practice and none of it has ever been wrong. Of the thousands of adjustments and pieces of advice that I have received from teachers on my yoga mat - there are a few that have made me cry, a few that have made me stay, and several that have changed my life. That's powerful stuff. More powerful than fear.

We all want to be seen and heard as we are. In the end, it doesn't matter where yoga started or what it was originally intended to do. The true lineage of yoga is passed from one teacher to one student. It happens in very simple, individual moments.

Before the students were guided out of savasana, we gathered at the front of the room as a teaching team, seated together, each with a hand on our heart. It is a simple action - a reminder to breathe - and to feel. To stop and acknowledge and be present in the moment. When the class came back up into seated, I met the gaze of the woman who I had assisted during savasana and she put her hand to her heart.


Lighting the Path Yoga Teacher Trainees gather at the end of class.
 
It is almost astonishing. Yoga is so big. But the actions are small: Taking a deep breath. Relaxing your neck. Feeling.

Yoga is about remembering:

How we got here. Who we want to be.