Lesson Before the Mat

Some days, I have a theme for yoga class. Some unexpectedly show up, or something happens that day to remind me of a great truth that I like to share.
Yesterday was one of those days.
As I entered the room where I teach, there was a new student. She was in my spot! The spot where I set up to teach. I stopped, a bit taken aback, felt the air draw in a little, then, I continued on my way.
My regular students were surprised to see me walk in; they thought she was the teacher.
I  laughed at us all, entrenched in our class habit. I announced that I was picking a new spot and suggested we all do so to gain a new perspective.
In yoga, we call this one of our samskaras, or pattern grooves of the mind. It can be very difficult to change them. And, like this particular moment, sometimes we’re forced to change against our will.
How do we respond? Anger? Force to change it back, possibly against someone else’s will? Sadness? Retreat, while harboring frustration?
Our yoga practice begins to strengthen our resiliency to these situations with detachment. We begin to observe, note them, recover quicker, and move on without an unnecessary emotional attachment to the situation. We become more balanced and better able to handle life’s challenges.
I found that I like my new spot, I could see everyone better and they could hear me to the other end of the room.

Take a moment to pause quietly wherever you are right now, close your eyes, sit up tall, and call to mind something that you are deeply attached to. What would it feel like if you let it go? See if you can feel where it is in your body. Then, try to replace that feeling of lack or tension, holding on, maybe, with abundance. The feeling that at this moment, you have everything you need.


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