The Path To Bodhichitta

You start where you are, the practice will meet you there.

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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Like Coming Home

I was designing a Yoga For Stress Management program for a client (my 'real' job is that of a corporate trainer) and needed to test-drive certain snippets of it. So I offered three free half-hour yoga classes to another client who had engaged me for a 4-day leadership program.

On the first evening, eight people filed into the room and laid their towels on the carpeted floor. PS, one of the two men, confessed that he had never done anything close to yoga before, but was willing to give it a shot because nothng he had previously tried could help him relax.

I started feeling a little nervous. I hadn't stood in front of a class in more than 6months, and suddenly my carefully put together sequence seemed amateurish. But it was too late for second thoughts now. Swallowing my anxiety, I threw myself into the class and time stretched from 30 minutes to almost an hour. When they were finally in Savasana, I felt an uncontrollable joy well up within me. The words had flowed smoothly out of my mouth as though I had never taken a sabbatical. My eyes and hands remembered the adjustments and I was able to draw inspiration from my students.

It was like coming home again.

PS stayed behind after the rest had filed out and as I approached him, my nervousness returned. He looked me dead in the eye and said, "I'm really pissed off with this whole thing."

My heart sank.

"When we lay down at the end and you started talking, for the first time in my life, I felt my entire body relax. Every bit of tension seemed to dissolve. I was in a space I had never been in before and it was great. Then I got really pissed off because I knew that the minute you stopped talking and walked out that door, I wouldn't be able to recreate this amazing feeling."

I stared at him dumbly. Nothing could have prepared me for what he had just told me.

"How do I get what you have?" he asked desperately. "You're so full of peace and light. I would give my life to just experience five minutes of your soul."

His eyes welled up and all I could do was still stare. When I finally shook myself out of my stupor, we talked for almost an hour. The only advice I could offer was that he needed to listen to his inner voice. He agreed but said he didn't know how. Try yoga, I suggested. Stay in the silence of your body and listen. It will speak to you.

As I drove home, I felt immensely humbled at having witnessed the quiet power of yoga once again. Just before the class I had felt my old insecurities and yoga had spoken through PS to tell me that I am reaping its benefits. And yoga had spoken through me to reach out and touch PS in a way that even he couldn't yet understand.

It was like coming home again.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Starlight, let's make a deal. You go back to teaching yoga and i'll go back to learning hatha yoga-to the same yoga instructor that left me hurting. Time to let the healing truly take place. And you MUST realize that you offer people things that they don't understand or believe in yet but need so much. My courage to drop the ego and listen to the inspiration from within must happen, for hurt is also another form of the ego, right? Hari Om :-)

1:26 AM  
Blogger starlight said...

Anon, you're making me a very tempting offer :) Tell you what...I'll promise to go back to teaching next year and you will find a teacher that will respect and honour you and your body. How? And yes, you're right - hurt is another form of the ego. I'm so glad you recognize that because so many people associate the ego only with arrogance. You will go far in your yogic journey. Jai Bhagwan.

5:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

**blush**. Thank you. Next year sounds just about right - maybe you will be my teacher...Hmm. Hari Om

6:34 AM  
Blogger starlight said...

i would be honoured. we'll let each other know when we're ready. :)

6:50 AM  

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