All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,
“You Owe Me.”
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.
~Hafiz of Persia
I often share a short story or a poem at either the beginning or end of yoga class. Every time I read this beautiful poem by Hafiz of Persia aloud I get a hitch in the back of my throat on the very last line.
I’ve learned over the years that those ‘hitches’ are my body’s way of signaling to my mind,
“Hey, pay attention, this is for you too.”
It means I am speaking my own Truth. There is something profound in knowing that in that moment I am connecting to something greater than my little self (with a lower case ‘s’), and my physical body senses it, and responds to it.
You may have heard the saying that if you want to really understand something, to learn it and embody it for yourself, try teaching it; whatever it is. This is especially true for me, I’ve discovered, when I teach yoga.
Before beginning a class, I take a few moments to set my own agenda and needs aside, center and set onto the winds a little prayer that I may be fully available to the students that have taken this time to arrive on their mats. It is my greatest wish that I can be fully present and aligned to my own Source, and by doing so speak and assist in whatever it is the students need in that moment.
I do my best to allow whatever comes up to come up, as I would if I were in the midst of my own practice. But often I do feel disconnected, too much in my head and not enough in my heart. I laugh, sometimes out loud, at the things that come out of my mouth in a class, and wonder,
“Does any of this make sense?”
But then there are those sweet pockets of time when I’ve completely let down my guard, softened into my own Awareness and Intention to be fully present for the students, that the words do not seem my own. They are not the words of my intellect and training, but the words that originate from the Universal Wisdom and Love of the heart. These are the words that flow fluidly, effortlessly, and remind me that when I touch upon that Universal Love of the heart, I share with no need to fulfill me. I share solely to give my light, my love, my heart.
Those are the moments I feel the Sun shine easily through me, feel that hitch in my throat and marvel at the ease of it all. To give unconditionally fills me with the light of a thousand Suns. The most beautiful moments are those when the dividing lines between student and teacher soften and we are experiencing a bond of communal understanding that, no matter what, we are in this together.
We are each other’s teacher. We are each other’s Sun.