Before class one morning, a yoga student shared with me that she was decidedly nervous about a flight she would be taking that day. It was snowing like crazy in Albuquerque and temperatures were dropping. From behind troubled eyes she asked if there was some way I could work the class to help her. I nodded in acknowledgment and in that moment we recognized yoga’s best gift:
It can soothe us or jazz us; it only depends on the story of the day.
I shared with the class about teaching high school in northern New Hampshire, and how the students would run to the windows to watch the snow fall each time a storm opened up above us. I loved those moments. Teenagers who could be so swag, hadn’t lost their child-like wonder watching the snow fall.
When I moved to the desert, the high school students had their own ritual, only their sense of wonder was for the rain. Here the change in barometric pressure is almost palpable, and inevitibly a student would say out loud, as if wanting to be the first to say it, “Can you smell the rain?” and that same sense of wonder would light up everyone’s eyes. It was only minutes before a clap of thunder seemingly opened up the clouds above us.
Remembering these stories to my yoga students warmed them as they warmed me, just like they did each time my high school students ran to the windows to witness the snow up close or to be the first to smell the rain. The remembering of an experience brings the feeling of the experience back, in all of its same intensity.
Remember someone who has supported you, held your hand along the way, or set you free. In sanskrit, it’s called maitri, an elevated love for a friend, teacher, family member or hero. Their remembrance brings your love for them to the forefront. Offer your class to them today.
The class developed around inner strength and referencing inside. Sun Salutes opened up into standing poses and then the focus turned to shoulders and heart in a practice of handstands. Integrate and soften, remember your connection to your loved ones.
I offered to assist the before-class-nervous-airplane student in a handstand. She floated up and was so balanced, she was weightless. She stayed there, aligned and free. When she came down, she clearly was empowered. All I had to say to her was remember this feeling…
When we remember an experience, we feel it as we felt it previously.
Choose to remember what supports you. Let it carry you through snow storms, through downpours and weightless handstands. What remembrance has supported you?
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