You are my teacher. If you have never taken a Bikram Yoga class before, you’ve only taken a few classes, or you have a practice that everyone around you envies, you are teaching me as I teach you.
It is often said that if you truly want to learn something – teach it. And every body – every soul – that stands before me in class teaches me something new on an everyday basis. Each student has their own story, their own challenge in the hot room and as a teacher I have the privilege to witness the struggle and the triumphs. Demonstrating patience, focus, tolerance, acceptance and determination, my students continually teach me just from their everyday example. And as I head into the hot room to take class each day their positive demonstration of the postures is absorbed into my own practice.
Now, you may be wondering about my first statement. How can someone who has never taken a yoga class have taught me anything about yoga? But I truly believe that every situation in the hot room is a direct mirror of normal life. Whether or not you have ever taken my class or any class, you are teaching those around you as the people in your life are there as a shining example of how to be your best you. Some people may show you what you don’t want to be, but most show you the way to your highest self.
As I move through my day there are plenty of people that are pointing me in the right direction. The mom that shows patience in the face of a hectic schedule and the demands of her children shows me how to be patient within my own frame of existence. The co-worker who is generous beyond belief is teaching me to let go and pay the generosity forward. The person working everyday to achieve an overwhelming goal, such as a marathon or working to educate themselves in a new field is teaching me that focus, determination and hard work do pay off. The friend going after their lifelong dream teaches me that if you are willing to make small sacrifices everything you wish for can come true. And those that test the boundaries of their own limits teach me to be fearless upon my own life’s path.
And as a direct reflection in the Bikram Yoga class, the person who is trying figure out how to breathe only through the nose during class teaches me the importance of controlled breath. The man or woman fidgeting between postures shows me how important stillness can be. And the student having a rough time with the heat on any particular day reminds me how challenging this yoga can be for even the most experienced practitioner.
With each session I am open to learning and having compassion for those around me, as I know that every person has a story to tell and a lesson to teach. So, know that you are my teacher and everyone’s teacher and with that knowledge I thank you from the bottom of my heart.