Behold, my friends from high school! Although our families are all still in the area, my friends live across the country and we’ve all taken very different paths (domestic violence prosecutor, doctor-in-training, acting, and YOGA). Plus, Bikram yoga is a new (or relatively rare) experience for them. I’ve been really proud seeing them come back day after day over these holidays.
I have really been enjoying hearing about how they experience the yoga–celebrating trying every posture at least once, getting the right grip for rabbit pose, coping with the day-to-day differences in humidity. All the little tiny things. We’ve all been beginners, but I love hearing about how they perceive it. It’s so easy, years down the road, for those little things to become mundane. But that’s not true for beginners, and it excites me how much they’re learning and how much they have to gain. Especially when they’re your childhood friends.
For instance, after I took class with them a few days ago I mentioned how important it is to give 110% in the sit-ups, particularly when having a tough class. It took me about three years to learn this, but it blew my mind: the more energy you put in to your sit-up, the more energy you have for the rest of the class. Once I realized this, that was the death knell for lazy sit-ups in my universe. Curious, they tried it out in class next time and I’m happy to report they all felt the difference it made. I love sharing those kind of hard-won insights, so they don’t have to spend all the time I did doing things the incorrect & harder way.
Sharing this yoga is a tricky thing–I’m so enthusiastic about it because of how transformational it’s been for me. As a result, I know I can become a little too evangelical and hard-core. (I know, I know.) But my rants don’t work, because they’re only my own experience–I can share that, and I can model yogi philosophy to the best of my ability, but ultimately people have to feel the benefits themselves and do the work themselves. Even more crucially, they have to want to do the work. I can’t do it for them, and I can’t make somebody else want to do something, I can only suggest….. so I’m working on my powers of persuasion.
And much more than you may care to realize, that is most of what teaching is about.
Happy holidays, everyone! May your season be filled with plenty of family, friends, and deep breathing!