I have insomnia. I’ve struggled with it off and on for years and it is a miserable experience. I fall asleep fairly easily, but never stay asleep long. I usually awaken around 2 or 3 in the morning and them am up until at least 5:30 or 6. I have tried everything, and am decidedly *not* asking for your suggestions or recommendations, but I bring it up in order to explain that, after being up since 3:oo, I finally fell asleep at 5:10 only have to my alarm go off at 5:30. YIKES.
Why was I up at 5:30? Because I now teach yoga at 7:00 on Tuesday mornings. It’s important to me that I get to the studio at least 20 minutes before class so that I can leave my “stuff” at the door, settle in, do office work so it’s not hanging over my head, get music playing, etc. I pulled into the parking lot this morning and, I have to admit, was not really feeling it. My eyes were so puffy I could barely see, I didn’t feel focused or centered, and I had no real idea of where the class was going to go. Regardless, I walked in, set some music playing, and opened the rolling doors that lead to the deck. The breeze started to blow and the birds started to sing and students arrived.
I started class inside facing the deck, but couldn’t stay in there very long. I just had to move outside, so I did. After a few minutes of me teaching outside while the students were inside (it’s not as strange as it sounds, it worked,) I suggested that everyone join me on the mat. I assumed that they would just follow me, but I was wrong. I shouldn’t be surprised – there’s a huge number of people who have never practiced in open air. Yoga Sol is out to change that, but I digress… They did come outside and I felt like I had been transported to a movie set. It is just that beautiful out there!
There is a special blessing that comes to yoga teachers: we get to watch people transform right before our eyes. It happens in an instant. One minute they are stressed and unsure and then the next minute they are in the moment, blissed out beyond belief. I saw that happen to everyone who laid out a mat today. The breeze picked up and blew at just the right times, as if to serve as a reminder that Mother Earth was the first yogini. The birds sang, the fragrance of the flowering trees floated delicately in the air, the sun gently warmed us, and it all just felt like magic!
Somehow, I was no longer fatigued, tired, foggy headed, or unclear. I didn’t force it, I didn’t fake it – I just stepped into it. Like the wind, you cannot catch your yoga, but you can be surrounded by it and let it carry you to joy and peace and hope and a better day.
Join me. Roll out your mat under the sun. Flow with the trees, breathe with the birds. It is communion with your world and yourself, and it is beautiful. I’ll see you on the deck.