My Yoga Valentine

I remembered why I love to teach yoga.

I was starting to forget. Anyone who has ever loved can relate to the doubtful thoughts that percolate periodically, playing shoulder devil as you ask yourself questions like, “Why am I even doing this?” “What made me so passionate about my cause?” “Do I even still love him/her/it?”

And then BAM.

The devil is sniped off your shoulder and just like a Claritin commercial, everything is clear and easy. Khaki pants and spring picnics included.

This happened to me yesterday.

I taught yoga twice and it was one of those days where I didn’t feel connected to my students. They were acting like retired heifers I was trying to herd into trikonasana while they did reverse warrior instead out of habit. A few days before that, I had to ask a student to not text during class. It’s hard to stay present for a class that doesn’t seem to care.

My last class of the day is a beginner’s class at a gym. The gym is, well, gym yoga. Usually, someone vacuums during savasana and meat-heads don’t understand why they can’t do lunges in the room while I teach.

Only one student registered for the series. She is a largely built woman who cannot afford yoga studio prices. She’s waiting on approval for knee-surgery and has a hard time maneuvering from sitting to lying down. She cannot do child’s pose or sit with crossed legs.

I was half-hoping she wouldn’t show up.

When I got into the room, she had set up her mat with all the props we used last week. Then she set up my mat, at the front of the room, with all the props as well.


That was all it took.

My student proceeded to completely humble me by telling me about some of the problems she ran into when she was practicing at home and showed me the strap she bought because of the stretches we did last week.

This student took her second class tonight and let me tell you, she gets yoga. Her focus is so intense as she syncs her movements with her breath. I have to ask her to open her eyes for a moment sometimes when she doesn’t have the posture right. We could do cat-cow today only because of her home practice throughout the week. She understands the difference between “new sensation” and “discomfort”. She isn’t afraid to try variations or ask questions. She is completely open to yoga.

Her yoga goal is to do the candle-light Vinyasa flow. I honestly don’t know if she’ll ever get to that level without intense yoga therapy from a professional. During the centering, I placed candles around the room with the hope that my small gesture would match hers.

The light in me

Sees and reflects the light in you.

Thank you for reminding me.


One Comment Add yours

  1. cometparty says:

    Oh my gosh Brynne, this is a lovely story. I feel that yoga has absolutely transformed my life, and I was already in good shape before I started coming to class on a daily basis—so it’s REALLY exciting to contemplate how much this student can grow and progress if she continues in her practice! I hope she’ll look back six months or a year from now, and feel great about how far she’s come.

    (p.s.—it makes me crazy when people keep their phones by their mat!)


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