I know you can do more, but…
I recently had a student in a class who did almost nothing for 40 of the 60 minutes class.
Wait…what? Why would you pay to come to a yoga class and do nothing?
Let me start by saying a few years ago, this may have undone me as a movement teacher. I would have internalized this and thought she did not like my sequence, the room was too warm or too cold, or any number of reasons that I would have thought reflected poorly on me. In fact, just the opposite was true. She was so satisfied with the practice that she was content to find her resting pose early in the hour class and remain there for the duration. In fact, when I see students actually taking the time to give their bodies and souls just what they need, if that is a more challenging version of a posture or maybe more breathes in child’s pose I know that they are listening to their best inner teacher.
Back to my student who came to a warm flow vinyasa (movement and breath linked postures) class, she did move and breath and enjoy for 20 minutes or so and then she tuned into the voice inside and decided it was best for her to stop there…not to have to leave class but just to respect her wrist that had been hurting and actually quietly allow herself, without struggle or explanation, to lie down and enjoy a longer savasana or resting pose. I could tell from across the room that she was content, that she was satisfied and so I just let her lie there and respected the choice she had made.
One of my favorite concepts in teaching yoga raises this question I ask my students, “I know you can do more, but can you do less?” We spend so much time adding to our schedules, saying yes to so many responsibilities, and generally giving when we are just plain tired, that actually making time to do nothing…truly nothing, no phone or computer, no agenda, no to-dos, is a real lost art. When was the last time you spent a morning or evening not doing? Not folding the laundry, answering emails, planning your calendar. Just simply being? When we reminisce on good times past, isn’t it often the simplicity of a moment, the lazy days of watching the summer rain or taking a Sunday drive with no destination, that we crave? I think we can have that again, it is a practice of choice, and you and I have the freedom to do just that.
At AWE we help our students practice just that…a bit of space and time to create just what you need, to practice the stillness and then make good choices, choices that reflect your inner desires and you can take that practice into your life so that showing up for yourself and your loved ones feels like a full yes, rather than a have to.
Yoga, Meditation & Mindfulness Training
Co-Owner Arts and Wellness of Edenton