It’s so easy to take our teachers and what they give us for granted.
Each week they arrive in advance to welcome us and put us at ease when we enter the classroom.
Each time we step onto our mats, they ask about our injuries so that they can help us modify our poses, if necessary.
At the beginning of class, they sit cross-legged on their mats at the front of the room to share a story, an insight, a snippet of knowledge, and we listen intently, eagerly absorbing their words.
What we hope to gain in class from our teachers is something more than what we might learn if we had stayed home and practiced alone.
Here are some of the treasured gifts that my yoga teachers have bestowed on me this past year:
Appreciation for the beauty and mystery of life
Balance to explore my inner self
Connection to a larger community
Courage to be in the moment
Desire to express gratitude for life and its many blessings
Determination to set an intention
Faith to feel a link to the divine
Flexibility to notice how a positive perspective changes the way I feel
Freedom to let go of expectations
Joy of taking time to breathe
Strength to smile through challenges
Support of friends
Trust to open my heart in challenging situations;
Wonder and awe that I feel in nature;
Willingness to accept what my body can do at a certain age
In every class, month after month, our teachers bestow these gifts on us. They glean these gifts from their own practice, and they pass them on to us, each gift a blessing to be shared in the hope it may deepen our practice, our lives.
As the year comes to a close, I invite you to look back over the past twelve months and reflect on the many gifts that you’ve received from your teachers.
And I encourage you to take a moment the next time you see your teachers to thank them for all the blessings that they may have given you over the past year.
To each of my teachers, thank you for all you’ve given of yourselves over the past year. I’m so grateful to be your student.
Practice Journal: What are the gifts that your teachers have given you? Can you think of one or two and how these gifts have changed the way you practice yoga or inspired you in your life? Can you imagine how your life might be different if you hadn’t received these gifts? Write: 15 minutes.