As a yoga student, I have realized that when you practice with the same teacher for many months or years, you don't always listen to every word your teacher says. Especially if your teacher has a tendency to say similar things in class each week.
As a yoga teacher, I am guilty of saying similar things in each of my classes. In fact, always close my class the same exact way. When I bring my students out of savasana, I say:
"Thank yourself for making the time to be here. Feel grateful to have a body that is capable of being here."
In the fall of 2013, my sister's fiancé, who is a very close friend of mine, was diagnosed with brain cancer. I was very involved with his treatment and care which was an emotional for experience for me. Watching someone close to you who is suffering from so much pain, and not being able to do anything to make them better, is such a tragic experience. As a control freak, I found myself feeling depressed in a situation that I couldn't make better.
I spent many long days over several months with my friend at the hospital during his radiation and chemotherapy treatments. After one particularly long day, I went from the hospital to teach a yoga class. During savasana, I looked around the room full of students looking so peaceful and happy, and thought, "we are so ungrateful for our bodies and all that they do for us."
As I brought the class out of savasana I said, "thank yourself for making the time to be here. Feel grateful to have a body that is capable of being here."
And it stuck. Every class that I have taught since that day has ended the exact same way.
Each morning I wake up and my heart is beating all on its own, my lungs are breathing air, and blood is pumping through my veins. I get out of bed and am able to use my legs to walk through my house. I can use my hands to make myself breakfast. I use my voice to speak to friends and use my mind to make decisions. My body is so capable.
A lot of times in class I hear students say things such as, "I am not strong enough" or "I am not flexible enough".
You ARE strong enough. You ARE flexible enough.
YOU are enough. You are perfect exactly the way you are.
Each time you step on your yoga mat, try not to be so caught up on what you cannot do. Rather, be grateful for what you can do. Think about all of the amazing things you body does for you, even if it doesn't do exactly what you want it to do.
The next time you find yourself in my yoga class and you hear me say the same thing I always say during savasana, I hope you feel grateful.
I hope you know how amazing your body is and I hope you don't take it for granted.
Class theme: February 2, 2015 - February 14, 2015