After teaching yoga for nearly 10 years I was surprised to find myself questioning my ability when I walked into a yoga studio I had never set foot in. The walls were covered with mirrors and the room was heated to 90 degrees. Although I had taken several yoga classes, I had never tried an advanced Vinyasa class in 90 degree heat. On top of the heat, I was uncomfortable with the mirror idea, since I teach without mirrors with the intention to help my students (and myself) focus inward. I knew that I had stepped outside of my comfort zone with both the heat and mirrors, but I knew there was something bigger I needed to learn.
Before class began I had trouble being present with the moment. I even felt myself looking around to see who was there. The students were easily ten years younger than I, and I think I’m young at 38! :) Once class began I knew I was in for a challenge. The Vinyasa sequence was familar but the heat was so intense and I found the mirrors distracting. I found myself trying to push further than my limits, and soon I was light headed and dizzy. I heard my own voice, the one I tell my students, “Honor your body. Breathe. Focus within. There’s no competition in yoga, just do your best for that moment.” I listened to my inner voice and went into child’s pose where I centered my mind and calmed my spirit. Shortly after I stopped focusing on the mirrors and the heat and trying to be as good or better than the others…I let go. I finished the class and felt I had learned a deeper lesson… I’m a always a student, I’m always learning. -Sara Holliday MFT, CPT