Valerie. Thursday. 10am. Valentine’s Day.
I don’t know her age but she looks amazing. Is that long blond thick hair really real? No way. She must be Swedish or something. Who has hair like that over the age of 50? She’s definitely more than 50. Is she more than 60? In any event, I want to look that good in 10-15 more years with THIS body. I will. I will practice my asanas if that’s what it takes. Or maybe I’ll get new yoga pants like those. Will I still be able to do those poses when I’m her age? Will I be able to teach yoga by the time I’m her age? Will I look good in yoga pants at her age? I will practice my asanas and then time will tell.
Clearly I will need to practice non-attachment also. Non-attachment to long thick hair, or to body image, to age or defying age, to nationality, to yoga pants, to time, or to any of the things that one loves to observe when observing.
I started a yoga teacher training course this year. As part of the training, I need to observe one instructor each month and reflect about that observation. This month, I chose Valerie’s class to observe. This was her intermediate Kripalu class, Thursdays, 10 am. Valerie likes to play music and read sweet readings to impart her wisdom and grace. I love this. She stays on her mat and demonstrates with the utmost ease and beauty each posture she wants us to attain. She is what I imagine sculptures might look like if they could move. She speaks clearly and distinctly. She reminds us over and over that we are beautiful and to breathe in loving kindness, breathe out compassion. She asks us to let go of the burdens we carry on our shoulders, clear out the heaviness, root ourselves down into the earth, open our hearts and be at peace, wherever we are. Create emptiness in that backpack we carry and fill it with love. Love is light. Light is love. Honor your beautiful spirit, your light.
Valerie read to us short phrases from The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. This is a short, easy read and lovely for it’s refreshing reminder of how to begin practicing non-attachment. For when we practice non-attachment, we can truly still the mind and honor our beautiful spirits. The Four Agreements were lovingly intertwined with asana instruction and created a wonderful atmosphere in the room of yoga students practicing with an open heart on this Valentine’s Day, 2013.
1) Be Impeccable with Your Word. Your word is a gift, a force, an energy, a power. One word can change a life or destroy it.
2) Don’t take anything personally. Allow yourself to be. If you take it personally, maybe you think you are not enough. Everyone’s world is different than yours.
3) Don’t make assumptions. Assumptions make us believe it is the truth, then we take it personally and react. All drama is rooted in assumption.
4) Always do your best. The other three agreements become more deeply ingrained when you do your best. Keep doing your best. No more, no less.