Monday, April 23, 2012

"When you love your work that much-& many teachers do-the only way to get out of trouble is to go deeper in."- Parker Palmer, The Courage to Teach
I love my Monday night class. I teach yoga to in-patients of the Eating Disorders Program at my local hospital. We spent a lot of time talking about the meaning of yoga (both in a big picture and personal way) in my Immersions and Teacher Trainings. Boiled down, this is what resonates with me:
-It's all about service. My job on this great Mother Earth is to serve.
-It's about getting to know yourself better. This is why I come to mat, day after day. Because each day, I learn something new. Sometimes it's profound. Sometimes it's not. And that's ok, as long as I keep learning.
 So, back to Monday nights. It's not about the asana. It's about tapping into that part of yourself that you've always been a little bit afraid of. You're not sure why, but it makes you uncomfortable. And then we just sit and breathe and follow our breath in, then out, connecting with the metronome that's in each one of us. The breath that guides us through our practice--it tells us when we're trying too hard (not breathing) and it tells us when we've got it (we move gracefully on each inhale and exhale and feel the pulsation deep within). The breath that is the greatest meditation teacher.
 Yeah, we move a little bit, but mostly it's about reconnecting with our breath, our bodies and our spirit. About feeling better about ourselves and our place in this world.
 And I do it because I get so much more from their practice than they'll ever know. My heart bursts when I see them relax and let their guards down. When they move their bodies in a way that helps them connect to themselves. And when their bodies, mind and spirit all align, and they know themselves better.
 If I can give them just one or two tools to put in their tool-box for when they leave the hospital, then I've done my job. So that when life gets in their way, they have yoga to turn to to help them through, rather than reverting to old, destructive behaviours.  My job is to serve. And I will gladly continue for as long as they'll let me (although I did win major brownie points tonight for holding the practice outside in the sunshine!)
 Namaste _/|\_