“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela
On Saturday mornings, I go to yoga. The time always depends on what is on the schedule for my boys — basketball at 8:30? No problem. That means yoga at 6:30 for me. The time doesn’t matter because I look forward to it so much. It’s the perfect start to a relaxed weekend.
This past Saturday, I got to go to my favorite class at I time I haven’t been to in weeks because of activities. I arrived in time before the door shut (which is an accomplishment some days!), unfurled my mat, and settled in for the fun. The room was crowded and hummed with muffled conversation. The instructor hadn’t arrived yet.
When the time came for the class to start, the volume rose a bit, everyone probably wondering where the always-reliable instructor was. I turned and joked to Bill, a guy with college-aged kids who everyone knows because of his witty comments to the instructors, especially during special forms of yoga torture, prolonged planks, inversions, etc.
“Bill, are you teaching today?”
He laughed. “Yeah, if we take up a collection and the pay is high enough.”
A few minutes later, since my mat was beside the door, I volunteered to go to the front desk and see if they knew anything about the instructor. I left, the overhead lights blazing, the room still abuzz about the missing instructor. Turns out the front desk didn’t know what to do. It had never happened before. Yoga instructors were always there on time. Except Saturday.
I returned to the class and found the lights still on full brightness, but everyone in the packed room in down dog. Bill was at the front of the room, leading.
Everyone knew Bill. He always smiles, tries to remember names, never misses an opportunity to rib an instructor. But in the front, Bill was even better.
He didn’t know any of the names of the postures, but he led the class by example. He’d been taking yoga for ten years, he said, had a variety of instructors, but never could remember the names. Didn’t matter. In fact, it was endearing.
Not a single person left the room early, and I can personally say that I felt even more tired after Bill’s class than many instructor-led classes. It was excellent, content and difficulty-wise.
The best part, though, was Bill’s advice at the end. He said, “It’s good we’ve all gotten here this morning to make time to take care of our bodies, because these are our vehicles to get through this life. But the older I get, the more I need to remind myself to take care of my heart and my soul as well. So give yourself permission not only to take care of yourself physically, but to listen to your heart and soul, too.”
Yes. A great reminder.
Bill gave me a high-five after class when I said, “This is a big thing you have to check off your bucket list: teaching a yoga class.”
Big smile, high-five. And in the process, he reminded us we can do the things we’re scared of doing, the impossible things, all the things we’ve never done before. And rock them.