It is the end of the day on a Thursday, and I just returned home from teaching my last yoga class of the day. At the end of the class, as everyone was slowly starting to open their eyes and ease themselves off their mats, one student looked at me and said with a smiling peaceful look on her face “that was exactly what I needed”.
Words cannot express my joy at hearing these words. As a student, I too have experienced those moments, the peaceful and happy afterglow that comes after a great yoga class. I know how incredible and powerful those times can be, and they can shape the rest of your day or even week. So, as a teacher, I feel so much joy at being able to help a student, just one even, to achieve this state of bliss.
But I must also admit that tonight it was more than just that.
As a new teacher (and an imperfect human), I often worry about how my classes will turn out. I want every class to be a great class (I have both achiever and perfectionist tendencies as you may have already learned), and I sometimes find it difficult teaching classes and receiving little to no feedback. But I understand that not only is this part of the reality of sharing yoga with others, but it is a lesson in faith that I need to learn. It is a practice in having faith in myself, and just doing my best to make every class great, share what I’ve learned, be myself, and just let the rest go. This is not an easy task for me at all. But I practice, because that is what yoga is. As Rolf Gates says in his book Meditations from the Mat, “we are making a commitment to focus on the nature of our efforts and not the nature of the results”. I practice trusting and letting go. In every practice though, there are times when it becomes hard and you feel discouraged. I was having that kind of week this week. My classes all seemed a little emptier for some reason, and I felt as though a couple of my classes just didn’t click as well as I wanted them to. But hard times are the most important times, because they are when we have the greatest opportunity to learn and grow.
So tonight, to hear just one student say “that’s exactly what I needed” was exactly what I needed. It reminded me once again why I work hard to study, practice, and share the joy of yoga with others. It reminded me to keep practicing faith in myself and letting go of the results of my efforts. Most of all, it reminded me that more often than not, if you continue with your practice through the difficult times, the universe will give you exactly what you need.