I’ve cried numerous times in a yoga class….as the student. Almost ten years as a New Yorker and I consider my yoga practice, my best friend. I show up to practice when I need to dance; when I need inspiration; when I need comfort; and usually, when I need to feel loved. It’s in a yoga class that I feel safe enough to let go and allow whatever feelings to come up and ultimately, move through me.
But last night was different. I showed up to my Monday night class as the “teacher” and felt a little more vulnerable than usual. I’ve come to know and love this group of students…most of them have become my friends; my family; and I feel at home with them. I begin class as usual, asking everyone to find a comfortable seat, and close their eyes. And in that moment…there was quiet, space, breath and I could feel something in me begin to shift. “Most of you know I just got back from Paris…and it was…perfect. (long pause, as I could feel the tears roll down my cheeks). “And there’s this feeling when something is so great that you want to hold on to it as much as you can…for as long as you can…but you can’t. (pause, really feeling the tears now and unsure how to get out of this) I continue, “I guess this is what happens when you turn Forty and well, I just can’t hide who I am anymore…there’s no more guard up…(looking for any escape out of this)…and I’ll just leave it at that.” I manage to shift gears and teach the class; half wondering how I’m being perceived and the other half, not understanding what’s really going on and why I’m so emotional. All of my students are lovely after class; thanking me for being so open; offering a hug and words of comfort. And like the true teachers they are…making me feel better.
And that’s the thing about this practice that I love. I don’t always understand why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling but I allow myself to feel it…and be okay with it. ALL of it. Last night, for the first time, I wasn’t just the “teacher”. I was…Me