A woman came into my clinic this morning with some tough news about her health, the kind of tough news that’s hard to hear and harder to deal with. Frightening, life altering.
She told her story directly and honestly, and asked for my help. I asked what kind of help she’d like. “I want love, compassion, perspective, and advice,” she said, “and I want you to be less afraid than I am.”
Here’s where yoga comes in. Although I’ve had 20 years of practice in love, compassion, perspective, advice, and relative fearlessness, yoga has deepened all of it. The fact that I did my yoga practice for almost 90 minutes this morning, including an extra long Savasana, changes who I am as a person. These days I sit more quietly, listen more thoroughly, and am far less reactive. By becoming more aware of myself in the morning, I become more aware of the humans in front of me for the rest of the day.
Now, I’m lucky that this morning began with 90 minutes. It doesn’t happen every day. But the practice, five minutes some days and much longer other days, has been steady enough over the year that it pays off–big time–when it matters. When I began yoga classes a year ago, this changing of who I knew myself to be was not on my list of expectations.
There’s a tough time ahead for my friend. I’ll be glad to be here for her. To really be here.
I wonder if you’ve found the same thing. I wonder if yoga is creating a huge community of people who can be here.
Thanks to yoga for changing the quality of time with people who need me. Thanks to my beautiful friend in the clinic, and thanks to you for the conversation.