Arriving a few minutes before the New Year yoga class, I found myself in a nearly full yoga room. I took the open spot, front and center.
Naturally, with a class that isn’t in the normal weekly routine, and is full to the brim, class did not start on time, so I had ample opportunity to ‘find my seat’ and do a little work to prepare my mind for class.
She doesn’t seem confident up there. What’s up with that? Is she the teacher or not?
Her smile was beautiful, sweet and welcoming. The right kind of smile for a yin-style yoga class.
But something was off. I sat with these thoughts as the class settled down and finished its various preparations of readiness. Was it me? Was I being unduly resentful and challenging, just because I’d never worked with this lady before, and so was caught in the vice of a lack of trust in her abilities and a high sense of hope and expectation for this special yoga class to be specially rewarding?
Or was she nervous and uncertain? Was it the natural nerves of a new class, or something deeper seated that my lack of trust was genuinely honing in on?
Sitting with these thoughts as she went through her opening statements, I decided it didn’t matter either way. I was here, she was here, and class was beginning. I let my resistance hang out in the back of my mind as I began to tune my awareness, letting her cues and instructions guide my awareness into my breath.
I walked away, completely refreshed, with multiple new insights into my yoga practice that I was excited to incorporate into my home practice the very next day.
As I thought further about the experience, I realized how the blessings of yoga had permeated my mind’s relationship to reality.
I didn’t need to suppress, fight, or judge my initial resistance. I didn’t need to draw any conclusions, was she going to be good, bad, or neutral? I engaged with the thoughts enough to understand them, and then chose to disengage when the breathing techniques began for the class.
As a midwestern oldest daughter, my mind has been doing battle with itself since as long as I can remember. The dictates of social decorum had won such a large swathe of ground in my being that I was completely disconnected from what I really thought and felt about everyone and every thing well into my 20s.
What a lovely way to enter the year, a simple and organic insight into the fruits of the year before in my inner reality.
May the fruits of your labor to know and be your self be sweet and nourishing in the year ahead.
May your dedication hold fast through the donkey work, through the dusty, grungy trudge up the mountain.
May your steadiness of resolve hold fast through the exhilarating high of reaching the top of the mountain, so that your climb down the other side is filled with spontaneous spottings of beauty, and clear-eyed mindfulness of the approach of the various unknowns.
May your tribe grow in trust and truthfulness, as new depths open up to be explored inside yourself, may there be loved ones to witness, and to share the spontaneous touch of love.