In approaching a yoga class I always find my breathing naturally changes and lengthens. Its a time of concentration, of sensing what a class may need and what I could possibly give. Sometimes I have a plan of what I will teach that has to change completely once I see the class in front of me. In these minutes my heart, my egoic mind, my knowledge and intuition all converse.
My heart is huge. It holds the love of everything and dreams big. When my heart enters the practice on a good day everyone knows it. The room vibrates with a sense of the unconditional acceptance and understanding. The practice of each student may look very different, some moving through the poses with ease and grace, the breath steaming with the life force that it is. Others who are unable to continue take breaks, folding into childs pose or to simply sit, breathe and stay in the practice. Still others will smile or tear up, as some sort of emotional cloud lifts it way toward release. This is on a really good day.
Yet the reality is this doesn’t happen every day. In each practice my eyes take in the expressions in front of me which vary so widely it is comical. It is not difficult to see who is deep in their practice and who is thinking about dinner or making a list for their week. A yoga teacher practices to remember, all are welcome here. I am learning, always.
In these moments the awareness of my ego and knowledge begin to trumpet a call. I suddenly become aware of my lack of pleasing some one. There is lesson number one, of course. We cannot please every one.
The trumpet call rings again as I realize this unhappy student is expressing his disapproval or upset with some ‘energetic’ gusto. The air in the room seems to change and other students are very aware of it. What do you do when an unhappy student begins to sigh, roll eyes and send their disapproving or victim energy out for a call? What do you do when you see the rest of the students become aware of the elephant ( and we are not talking about Ganesha) in the room?