When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world.
– B.K.S. Iyengar
I arrived at studio today to be greeted by a student that I hadn’t seen for a long time. In fact, I hadn’t seen her for so long, that when she began talking to me, initially I didn’t know who she was, and to be honest, still cannot clearly place her, on the mat, in a class. But that is beside the point.
This student went into a detailed description of how there were two things that she has never forgotten from her classes with me.
- Acknowledge your breath.
- They are just words that are making the thoughts that are moving through your mind.
The reason these two experiences were so cemented into this wonderful previous student of mine, is that she had a relative who was contemplating suicide – and it was these tokens of wisdom that she passed onto this being who was losing hope and faith in the fabric of their life, and these words might just of been the life jacket that saved them.
Hearing this story brought tears to my eyes – it was only this week that I had thrown my hands up after a passionate conversation with a friend about purpose, and yelled out to the cosmos:
“What is it???? What am I supposed to be doing?”
Is it possible that an answer so removed from this episode could of found its way towards me, dressed up as a student who was really my teacher in disguise? The teaching didn’t stop there, as the student continued to draw me deeper into her very personal story, she reached deeper and brought forward some insight from her faith, Judaism.
“Some people” she intoned, “never find out what they are supposed to be doing, but keep doing it anyway, and that is the way it is supposed to be.”
Feeling slightly stunned, I embraced her and felt truly blessed at how life come up to me, just when I thought it had forgotten about me. I blame my ambitiousness on this confusion around purpose, this drive to move forward at lightening speed, to have things happen at the snap of my fingers, to forget that everything has it’s own place, it’s own time, and most of the time it won’t be according to my watch.
The interesting thing about the whole scenario is that it wasn’t until I was back in the comfort of my own home did the two incidents even reveal themselves. I had until that point forgotten my ranting and questioning – and even though it wasn’t playing on my mind any longer, it seems the cosmos still wanted to embrace me with the wisdom of their answer.
I guess it is my ego that forgets the impact this beautiful healing art has on those that come to embrace it. I am continually amazed at how something that has been said in a class can reach as far as the ears of someone considering ending their life.
The right person appears in my class. I have done my own study around how to best encourage students to move beyond the monkey mind to enter relationship with presence, and that information lands in several places over days, weeks, months of this student digesting the lesson in his or her own way.
I am humbled yet again to be in this profound profession of teaching yoga. Even though my rants about the superficiality, superstardom of it all sometimes wears me down, I believe with all of my essence that there could be no greater calling then to sit in silence with God or Yahweh or Allah or Krishna or whatever name resonates with you.
That silence with your God is Yoga, nothing more, nothing less.
Just you, just love, just being.
The beauty is that people often come here for the stretch, and leave with a lot more.
– Liza Ciano
Ed: Bryonie Wise