Save The Last Practice For Us


“The only constant is change.” “Nothing stays the same.” “Change is good.” “Be the change you want to see.” “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.” And, change quotes are endless.

I get it. You get it. Living life to the richest, deepest, highest, freestyle, authentic, no take backs, no regrets means jumping off the train riding the same route. Some find the ride that suits them best. Some seek or need change to grow. No right or wrong. Very personal. Save the books of advice on how to live and feel what your heart is saying. Just remember to thank the people who participated in your self exploration and growth.

Without others, we become less than possible.

So, I write this love letter of gratitude to my yoga students of the past nine years. You stuck with me from my beginnings as a  teacher. I was a rookie. I was petrified hours before each class. I spent hours planning moves and making song lists to match the flow…only to discover whatever I planned had to be set aside. It didn’t feel right for you. I learned it was more than poses, themes and music. We were writing a story together. And, a great story takes time.

So, I practiced listening to my heart, intuition and collective professional training tools. You, the student, taught me how to teach and inspired me to learn more. You, without words, motivated me to be more than traditional. You, my teacher, dared me to dare myself.

We shared sacred space. Beautiful, really, when you feel the energy of love in a room full of people who were strangers before class. There was an understanding of vulnerability.

Expectations faded and a willingness to change and grow together at individual paces emerged. Together, we felt safe. I felt safe, secure, needed, kind of important and loved. You supported my maverick nature to break mainstream boundaries.

Because of you, I changed. Because of you, I dared myself to try more. Because of you, I dreamed more. Because of you, I had to move forward. Because of past experiences, I know the consequences of not changing. Because of you, tears soak my cheeks with mixed emotions. Salty tears are my reminder of the ocean’s beauty. It’s waters always have silently beckoned me to go further since I was a kid. You were my ocean away from the ocean.

I thank you for being the waves pushing me beyond my comfort zone.

It would be easy to stay in the familiar. You’re a family in my heart. But, just like we reach the time to leave home as young adults, we know when the time has come. To not go deeper keeps you in shallow waters. What is going to happen is a projected guess. You go from being the lead focus, feeling like another’s rock, to rolling on unleveleved ground. It might be bumpy. It might scratch you. But, to wade in the same pool is energy stagnation.

My last official class with lovng individuals of 9 years has been an emotional, bittersweet day. As I write, I listen to old songs of the 70’s, drink beer and cry to the beloved past. I read a card one gave me that says, “thank you for sharing your heart all these years”. I am grateful for this new kind of grief. It is good grief.

Grief is a reflection of how much you filled up your senses. To not shed a tear would mean i didn’t care…or, felt love. You stood by me. We stood together. We smiled together. We moved through life together. Even if it was only 75 minutes a week, 75 rich minutes, of united energies without ulterior motives. All love. Not one wasted moment. We were cool with being real; redefining fitness; trying new ways to do yoga; playing old songs; recognizing and respecting anatomical boundaries; feeling touched by the gracious sound of silence.

We were a church without a cross to bear.

This day felt like breaking up with someone you love; but knowing that you’re not meant to spend your entire life together. You won’t forget them. You won’t unlove them. You will smile when you hear an old song and totally turn it up to feel and hear every word. You sometimes wonder, ‘what if..’?

And, when life is said and done, we will meet again. The classic songs stay for a reason. They touch the heart. And, of all the organs we are composed of, the heart is the heart of everything.

So, if I never told you, I love you. Really. You made me better at becoming me. Because of you, others will be touched by what I’ve uncovered and practiced. I don’t leave with ease. It’s not money. It’s not fame. It’s a deepening of my practice of yoga, life and love. Know that when I touch another with a healing touch, it is because of you. We are truly interconnected. The energy I pull from to salve another’s pain is from loving energy you shared with your presence.

So, maybe…just maybe, we can save our last practice together. And, like all practices, they don’t ever end. We laugh, cry, smile and find our comfort in this perpetual practice of expanding the beloved circle of Us.

A lover of quotes, I themed my last class with the quote I used in my first class 9 years ago…”The most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched. They can only be felt in the heart.” (Helen Keller)

Oh, the wondrous heart. It can feel so much love, sadness, grief, joy, bliss…and more love. Without the sadness and grief, we couldn’t be embraced by the bliss of love. It is the muscle I use the most.  My heart has been tenderized by each one that has touched it.

Until our next practice….namaste’ soul friends

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About valgoodman11

Practitioner of the alchemy of yoga. RYT-500: Certified in Thai Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga, Yin Yoga, Yoga for MS. I blend new approaches with classic moves. Vintage and novelty make a great practice.
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