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The Strongest Yogi I Ever Saw

March 9, 2012

I have to confess. I’m not a consistent yoga teacher. I tend to wing things a lot, change up routine, and let my latest inspirations take over class choreography. I trained in a studio that was extremely consistent – same centering as we began, same closing poem when we finished, announcements, class requests, injury inquiries. Always. The. Same. I carry around a little guilt about being a little different from class to class, as if my students might miss out on something without that kind of structure. I have a feeling though, in truth, most of them don’t notice.

So the other day, before class, I asked if anyone had anything they wanted to share before we began. I throw this out there from time to time, often getting blank stares and smiles, or eyes gazing up at the ceiling searching their brains for anything to contribute with the group.

This time, one soft voice spoke up out of 11, and said “I’m going to take it easy today.”

There are many moments when a yoga teacher feels proud of her flock, but this one comment I think takes the prize.

Have you ever come to yoga just completely exhausted and out of whack but knew you should be there because it would “right” you in a way? Well this was her moment, and when she decided that she was going to be there, show up, and take it easy, it was the bravest, strongest thing she ever could have done for herself.

One of the messages I try to broadcast loud and clear in all my classes, is “take it easy on yourself.” Practicing self-compassion is possible the most challenging of all yoga practices out there. Bravo flock. Bravo.

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