“We’re going to take one last pose before making our way to savasana.”
It was those final minutes of class before resting blissfully on the floor, letting the weight of your body sink into the floor and the effort of moving vigorously from pose to pose for over an hour spread throughout every nook and cranny. It was those final moments when your teacher lets you do what you need to do for your body.
I brought the soles of my feet together for Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) but I quickly realized that wasn’t the right pose for me in the moment. It put too much strain on my inner thighs so I opted for a seated forward fold, two legs straight out in front of me, hinging forward at the hips to bring my chest forward and then down towards my legs.
I settled into the pose, tuning into my body and breathe. All of a sudden, I realized that everyone else in class had already settled into savasana. I was the only one still sitting upright.
I could feel the blood rush and flush my cheeks (more than they already were). However, instead of rushing to lie down as soon as I realized that I was doing something different, I moved deeper into the pose. That was what my body needed at the moment more than the resting pose. My body had been feeling off since the night before, particularly my stomach, and the deep fold felt good.
I used to notice other students in class who seemed to be in their own world and doing something completely different from everyone else. I used to think, “Why aren’t you following along?” Instructors have a carefully constructed and particular sequence in mind for class.
But I’m also realizing that it’s OK if it doesn’t go as planned and you do something differently because that’s what you and your body needs at that moment. And really, isn’t that what a teacher is supposed to do? Help facilitate your movement and meet you where you are?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot and how it applies to yoga and life in general. As a teacher, it’s not just about a lesson plan or a yoga sequence that you have planned out. Rather, it’s about creating an environment and a space for your students to learn, move and grow. As a student, it’s not just about blindly following a lesson plan or a yoga sequence but being open to the experience and taking responsibility for your own journey – seeking out what YOU need in order to move forward.
Or, maybe, this is just my way of rationalizing an embarrassing moment in yoga class.
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