Each week I get to see amazing feats performed by ordinary human beings. I am lucky enough to see people heal up old injuries, walking a little taller, walking a little smoother, or come in to the studio with a grin on their face as they tell me that the doctor took them off their blood pressure medication. I have people tell me they actually grew that year. They are 60 years old and they grew an inch!
Now, the reason yoga teachers get so pumped when we hear these comments and stories from our students is because by the time they have accomplished a healing moment within their yoga practice, they more than likely have been at it for a while and the student and the teacher have gotten to know each other quite well at that point. As a yoga teacher, we had the inspiring chance to witness the work that a student put into healing themselves up. It did not and will not happen in one class. It probably won’t happen in 10 classes. It will happen over a long period time. It will take patience and dedication and a not giving up attitude that comes solely from the student themselves.
So often I see the eyes of a student glaze over as I tell them that they will probably get deeper into a posture within the next month, or dare I say, a year.
“Wow! Look at that,” I exclaim. “You are probably going to be able to go back in Fixed Firm Pose within the next 3 months!”
The reply to this being a sigh, maybe even a roll of the eyes up to the ceiling. I get it. I wish it would happen right away too.
But the thing is I also don’t want to take away from the student that incredible moment when it finally does happen and they are there accomplishing something they never thought possible. That is the best part of the entire notion of a yoga practice. No one else could do it for the student. They had to show up, do the work, always do their best to work the right way, and allow it to happen for themselves.
For me, I am always baffled as to why a student wants everything to happen right away. The best things in life take time. Great relationships full of trust, honesty, and love. Honing a talent – such as playing an instrument, learning how to dance, or even playing basketball. Great food also takes time and preparation, as well as, a great deal of skill. Even the best glass of wine took its time to be great.
It reminds me of some of my favorite hikes, as my husband and I climbed through the woods down the path towards a scenic view marked on our map. I never once wished that we could just get there already and hurry this whole thing up. I loved the journey. The trees and rivers we passed. The smiles and greetings of our fellow hikers that were headed the other way on the path. The great conversations my husband and I had. I wouldn’t wish any of that away to reach the destination sooner. The fun was on the path, breathing in the fresh air and taking it all in.
In yoga, the fun is also on the path, on the journey. So, it’s going to take a while to get your forehead to your knee in Standing Head to Knee Pose. Whether you show up to class or not, the time is going to pass anyway. A year, two years, ten years. Does it matter? But if you do show up and decide not give up – that year, that two years, that ten years will be wildly different for you than if you don’t. Take your time. Enjoy every moment of your unfolding. Yoga is about more than a posture. It’s about finally looking at yourself and seeing You without criticism, but instead with a heart full of love for everything you are and everything you could be. Yoga just could be your key to unlocking the door to a greater, fully lived life as you become free in the body and free in the mind.
Look at the image below. That gorgeous Fixed Firm Pose took 3 years to accomplish. If you ask the student, they will tell you it was worth it. So, what are you waiting for? Get to class and make it happen.
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