by Shawna Emerick
Silent, sweaty, calm, slower moving practitioners start to pick themselves up off their mats. That sweet moment when everything has changed because of the Yoga practice we all just went through. Yes, even I, as instructor, was right there along side you, coaching, cheering, compassionately nudging, and flowing in the prana (life force) with you, fully present!
Then, the studio door opens, and you leave my life. Not necessarily for always, but we go our separate ways until next class. It is bitter sweet for me.
I always offer myself to whomever may have questions after class, that I am here for them, though I don’t always remind you that I am. And, sometimes I have said that I am here for you anyways, even if not for yogic specific inquiry. And, I mean it. But, here is the catch that sometimes causes the most sadness for me at the end of class…
My desire to stay connected to each of you. I am interested in what you thought about the class, what would you like more of, what didn’t work for you, where do you want to be challenged, what’s going on for you now in your life, what are the circumstances you are shifting through right now, where have you come from, where do you want to go, and so much more! Yes, I love getting people’s stories, and I love hearing them; I learn from them, it’s how my students are my greatest teachers and inspirations. Sometimes the student has words of wisdom to offer me, sometimes their story fuels next week’s topic for the yoga class, sometimes their desires become the blueprint for the postures of the class the next week; it’s all SO connected. Other times, whatever I am going through becomes the catalyst for the classes I create, and then someone comes up afterward and expresses how it really resonated with them and helped them, and that common bond we share lights me up inside, makes me feel more connected to that student, and more connected to humanity at large.
I Live for these moments. They are a North Star in my life.
So, it’s bitter sweet when you leave. I wish we had an extra hour to sit in a pow wow and chat, connect, and hold space for each other to talk about anything we wanted! Sometimes it does happen, though not really for an hour, but maybe a few minutes. I am not so blind to the fact that you have lives too, and maybe today you just have to get to the next thing; and for at least the class time together, I am grateful!
My husband now knows to expect that if I say class ends at 1pm, and even though we live a few blocks away from Bread and Yoga, that I might not be home until 1:30pm or after, haha! He knows I am talking, sharing, and allowing the winds of communication to whistle between me and others. Heart to heart, human to human, supporter to supporter, we journey together.
The journey in practice together, priceless. The knowing that we journey thru life together, priceless. My students thoughts, questions, stories, introspections, are all priceless. Thank you.
So, if I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to you after class because I am talking to someone else, it doesn’t mean I wasn’t watching your practice or still holding you in my thoughts and in my heart (or see you leave and send you E.S.P. “goodbye”!). You are! Just because I forget your name for a week or two if you are new to my class, it doesn’t mean I am not interested or invested in you; I am!
My desire for us would be to have more time. More connections. So, yes, keep coming to class, ask me questions, requests things for your yoga practice, and then also, feel free to share your story, let me know what is going on with you, because I sincerely want to know. And, I will do the same as best I can. I know the feeling of vulnerability, but I find, that when I open to others more, it only helps us all! Too many times I have heard my friends say, “when you let us help you, you are helping us too, because we feel good that we can help.” Sometimes the scariest feeling is actually being RECEIVED by another, fully for who you are, and nothing else. Its scary, but then bursts of love, gratitude, connection, and excitement spring forth within us, and we change, we all change.
So, perhaps I am babbling on now, but, I wanted to write this blog more from my heart, more freely, and without restriction. It’s a topic I think and feel of often, but have never been able to really express. Thank you for listening. Thank you Bread and Yoga for this platform on which to share. I hope to listen to you next, dear practitioner turned friend! Lets stay connected; classes, talking, coffee dates, Facebook, or however. Namaste.