Were you at Feel Good Fernie? They are holding a contest for the best photos of the day! Check out their Instagram (@FeelGoodFernie) or their Facebook (World Record Attempt-Fernie BC) for details!
After a weekend spent teaching to, and learning from, a beautiful group of yoginis at EYS's latest teacher training, I taught a yin class this morning from the perspective of a full and happy yogini who just enjoyed a transformative weekend. And it was during this class, while feeling so full and recharged, that I felt my heart pouring out to a student. Sometimes the universe fills us up and if we are wise, and honour our true nature, we share that goodness with others rather than trying to keep it all for ourselves.
I had never taught her before and she was friendly and chatty before class when I introduced myself to her, but as we journeyed into our practice, I began to notice an un-easiness to her that deepened as the minutes ticked by. I kept my voice calm, talked a bit more than I usually do during yin, and tried to pour out good, calming energy to guide her into a peaceful acceptance of the now. As the class prepared for savasana, hoped with my entirety that she would find a few moments of rest from the anxiety that had swirled around her like a shroud during class. But watching over the class as they relaxed into their savasana I would see her slip into rest for a moment or two and then shudder and twitch back to consciousness.
Having suffered through PTSD and anxiety disorder, I wished that, even just for a moment, I could let her know without singling her out that it could be okay. That it would be okay. That if she continues to try and find her way, it will happen. That the feelings of anxiety aren't permanent. That they didn't define her. That I knew with my whole being she could overcome them. But that wasn't my place. I was a teacher, in a morning yoga class, who knew nothing at all about her. It would have been awkward and unprofessional for me to do so.
As I sat in sukhasana, my students in savasana, my heart spoke to me and I accepted that I couldn`t confront her, and that even if I could, it may be unwelcomed interference. It wasn`t my place. So I let some of the wealth of beautiful energy that had built up within me over the weekend seep out and led the class into a final meditation meant to evoke feelings of calm and invited them to take that into their day. As we sat in meditation, I let my whole heart shine in the genuine hope that, even if it was only for a second, she felt calm and centered and unworried. And then I let it go. It isn`t for me to meddle in another`s journey, or project my feelings on to someone else`s situation. We each walk our own paths and the best support we can give each other is open acceptance and un-conditional love. It`s the best support we can give ourselves too.
Teaching a yin and yang flow class this morning I was struck by how much I enjoy teaching that particular style of class. Yin and yang has such balance that it can be hard to beat for an all around, feel good, yoga class and I more often than not find myself giving words on the importance of striving for balance and encouraging students to try and find it in their day-to-day lives as class ends. But as I left the studio today my thoughts on the beauty of balance slipped away. I had, and have had, so much on my plate with the Feel Good Fernie festival coming up, that I've not been practicing balance in my own life. From making time for family, to taking care of my out of class yoga responsibilities (this blog included) to making some me time, I've let it all slide.
On my to-do list for the day was securing meeting venues for the upcoming volunteer meetings this week. I was leaving the director of the Fernie library's office when she said to me "I really enjoy your blog. Well, I was . You haven't posted much lately." As the excuses came forth, matched in measure by my own disappointment in my lack of finding the time to blog, I felt a memory stirring in the back of my mind from yoga teacher training. We all have excuses and stories we serve up to ourselves and to others, but at the end of the day, what we do, or don't do has everything to do with us. Couldn't I be taking the time for the other aspects of my life too? Has the universe withheld chances for me to look after myself, my yoga business, or spending time with my family? No. Plain and simple. I've chosen to put the festival first. To take on more responsibility for it. To handle spreadsheets, emails and requests for sponsorship before giving myself a chance to blog, update the website, write an article or post to my followers on Facebook.
So this afternoon, as my little one naps, I find myself here. And you know what? The way my spirit feels, having made the choice to write instead of putting something else first, resembles the way I feel after teaching or taking a beautifully balanced yin and yang class. Balance. It's a beautiful space to reside in.
I'm just a yogi in the mountains of British Columbia. If you've found your way to this site, it's very likely that you are too. Here you'll find information about my upcoming classes, workshops and retreats via the link to my website, as well my thoughts on yoga philosophy, what music I'm pumping in class, pictures, videos and other news about yoga and spirituality.