I was surprised and delighted by my Yoga class this morning…Dropped in and met a teacher I’d never had before – a petite, perky blond lady with thick black glasses whose musical playlist included Death Cab for Cutie and Florence + The Machine and who chatted pleasantly and told us to ‘tuck in our booties’. My expectations were inverted like downward dog. Many yoga teachers I encounter either have (or adopt) a zen-like approach to their instruction. They are calm, quiet, focused, and sometimes for me, anyway, this can result in seriousness. Pretty soon I am so concentrated that I forget to breathe and I stop having fun. It was refreshing this morning to be reminded that a light touch and a good sense of humor is invaluable, in any setting, and the absolute best path to well-being and the present moment.
This lovely gal also shared a great nugget of wisdom that I have to pass along: “Just Try”. She assured us that she would be throwing some challenging poses our way, and suggested that we “just try”. Why not? Worst case, you lose your balance, maybe topple over onto your mat, land on your face, look a bit silly for a moment. Big deal. More likely, you discover something new about yourself and your abilities. You surprise yourself. What a metaphor for life, right? How often do we pull back or do things tentatively for fear of failure, or based on the inaccurate assessment of our own abilities. Really, in reality, there are very few legit reasons not to just give it your all and really go for it, whatever “it” is.
And so I did, in class today. And after a handful of challenging poses my muscles began to burn and my legs shook like jello. Not a little polite quiver, a uncontrollable jiggling of my entire thigh. At first I felt embarrassed at how I must look. And then I brought myself (and my meandering brain) back to the pose and my breath, and kept at it – stretching, balancing, wobbling, having fun and just trying it all 100%. It was great.
I am hopping offline now to do some writing on my musical (mostly) solo show (more on that to come!) – a feat full of unknowns and uncertainties. But I take with me today the suggestion and the playful spirit of my unconventional yogi. Who knows what surprises lie in store, but hell if I’m gonna live life half-way.