Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dear Teacher

Dear Yoga Teacher,

I needed to get this off my chest so you'd know how I feel.
I know you haven't seen me in class in a while.
Sometimes I just can't make it.  I'm too tired. I've worked to much. I can't afford it this month. I'm involved in too much. I have an injury.
But I think about you a lot.
I think about how I'd feel when you'd tell me in downward dog to spread my fingers wide and push down through my index finger into the floor.
When I'd push through the balls of my feet and bend my knees, shooting my hips up to the air, how that extended my spine and sent my energy soaring.
I think about in a flow, how you'd cue the breath and remind me that the breath is what initiates movement.
I think about Warrior I - how a subtle nudge of my back foot could send my hips into alignment - in Warrior II - how just by telling me to be aware of my knee over my ankle, that I became mindful of not lunging too far.
In Tadasana, Mountain pose, the way you instructed to pick my toes up to feel the weight and energy under the balls of my feet and my heels was so awakening.  I would then place my toes back down, but you'd tell me to keep that energy pulling up from the earth into my hips and to give my energy back to the earth.  How a slight lengthening of the tailbone, shoulders down the back and my low belly in-and-up grounded me and made me feel so strong.
I think about you, yoga teacher, and how from these words, these words of wisdom, you planted a seed to allow me to know myself better; to allow me to become more aware of my actions, my thoughts, my character.
Because I was able to conquer Crow pose in your class last time I was there, the other day I took a chance in my business - a leap of faith.  I knew I wouldn't fall far. And I knew I'd come out stronger because of it.
I think about in Triangle, when I hinge at the hips, how aware I have to be of my spine collapsing, lengthening from my hips, and extending my heart forward.  I think about how this awareness has helped me to be aware of other subtleties in life - how I treat people - how I treat myself.
In twists, you teach us to twist first from our foundation; then lead with the heart - to let our gaze follow but to always stay in line with our heart.  Off the mat I act with my heart first. Thank you for that.
Once in class the first pose you cued was handstand. You said, "I wanted you to feel what it was like to be present." Thank you for that, too. I think of that moment every time I notice I'm too much "in my head."
And sometimes it was the way you made me soften.  After studying the Bhagavad Gita you had us believe we were the Atman - to find that power in our heartspace - and to lift up, full of love, into a full wheel.  I've never forgotten that moment - when I felt like I could conquer the world.

So thank you - yoga teacher. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for teaching and doing what you were put on this earth to do. Thank you for giving a part of yourself to your students and sharing your gifts with the world.

You may not see me in class all the time, but you are always teaching me.

Om namah.