I sat here, at a local coffee house, beginning to write this week’s post. I had planned to write a post going into depth about the lessons I have been learning regarding career, work,and bliss; but as I opened my IPad to begin this process a man walked over to the woman sitting next to me and began talking about being a yoga instructor. My ears perked up, and the distraction was created.
I listened with intensity to what they were talking about hearing bits here and there that were meaningful for me. Once she left, I took the risk and walked up to him myself. He turned out to be the owner, and an instructor, for a local Iyengar studio, one that I had been wanting to practice at for some time now. The Universe had lead me to water, it was on me to drink. I took the risk and spoke with him, and in turn I was given faith back into the community four years ago I slowly turned away from for wanting some tradition.
The conversation was brief, but deep. We discussed the different dimensions of practice, and, unlike most instructors, he complemented me on my self practicing and ‘time off for meaning’. In actuality he encourages his students to spend more time in self study, if only to take the lessons they learn on the matt and apply them to ‘real’ life situations.
As we talked he asked me questions about my practice, where I had studied before, and what I had been doing now. The conversations twisted and turned into a clear declaration from me about my love of the practice and what I was looking for in a studio. Never once did he try to get me to come to practice, or to tell me that I should spend more time in the studio; but rather listened compassionately. In the end he agreed and added to many of my views.
Like I said, he was please that I spent so much time in self study, but not only that he runs his studio in that exact manner. That a class at a studio was like a class at collage, “you don’t spend seven days a week in class, but have to study at home and come to class for new lessons to think on.” I would be lying to say that I was not only impressed but genuinely interested to understand his teaching style and wonder if his classes were my next step in my journey.
To bring my day even more full circle, my morning practice was filled with a nagging presence of the lesson of uncomfortably, and the importance of the Warrior pose. My latest book that I am reading is about following one’s passions in life using the four energies. Mainly the Warrior and her ability to stay focused and over come with stamina uncomfortable situations has been the forefront of my mind. This was just such a situation.
Two years ago someone would have been hard-pressed to keep me from talking to a stranger that I was drawn to for one reason or another. Still after these past two years, my isolation and hibernation has caused me to be more uncomfortable and shy away from such instances. So when I recognized the opportunity, I had to decide. I breathed. I thought out what to say. I stood up unsure if I should instead go to the counter. I gathered my strength and walked over as the peaceful warrior looking for a new place to train, and I was rewarded.
The idea of taking lessons off the matt and into the day to day, is not a new or untaught concept. Yet it is one that sometimes can be overlooked if not reminded. The studio that I earned my teaching certificate at echoed with words of encouragement for this practice, particularly when it came to uncomfortably. The instructors would say to us while deep in a difficult asana “breath through the uncomfortable, just like in life”.
No matter how often it happens, the universe never fails to amaze me with itself. It began my day by reviewing this week’s lesson of uncomfortably, then gave me the true test, and, in passing, a truly irreplaceable reward – my refunded faith in my practice and the world of yoga. We are all given such lessons and chances to pass or fail every moment of everyday, and by listening to our Selves on our matts and bringing them into the ‘real world’ we can find the strength and stamina to over come any obstacle.