Yesterday I was witness to such a beautifully sweet release during a one-on-one with a student.
When I disclose that I am a yoga teacher, people often ask “What is so special about yoga?” There are many answers. They are meaningful, but generic. For most teachers, I suspect, the answer is not a thought that is easily encapsulated by words. It is a feeling, a deeper knowing, of the true and lasting change that yoga can incur in the life of an individual or group. It is a magical miracle. It is a seeing-is-believing type of knowing that only comes through witness to the shifts that occur.
Yesterday, only one lady showed up to my class. Some people are unsure about taking yoga one-on-one, but this lady was excited. So was I. Before we began she asked many questions. She is currently taking a yoga teacher training at another studio, so I knew I could delve a little deeper into the terms and the science of yoga. I was in heaven. This is what I live for. Sharing what little knowledge I have of the rich history of yoga. I wish every class was so juicy.
She mentioned that there was tension between her husband and herself and also that her upper back felt tight. I noted this, pressed play on a gentle playlist and the session commenced. We flowed through the sun salutations and aligned standing poses, pausing for demonstrations and explanations. I added a lot of heart openers, especially triangle, and some shoulder openers.
As we came to a close, I led her into Yoga Mudra (which is meant to seal the energy worked up in the practice). She loved it and I felt at that moment she had really received the gift. I know how precious this gift is, because I had received it from my teachers, and they theirs. She had found something deeper, right there in the simplest, but perhaps most powerful, asana.
She took savasana, laying down on her back. I led her through relaxing the body, letting go of the breath and releasing the thoughts. I lifter her legs, and her arms, massaged her shoulders and head. Then something told me to sit and do Reiki. I held one hand at the crown of her head and one hand over her forehead. I moved my hands, hovering over her forehead and heart, feeling my hands heat and then cool.
Coming back up to sit, we finished with one OM and opened our eyes. She looked at me and asked, “Do you do Reiki?” I answered that I had done some while she lay in savasana. “I feel like I could cry,” she said. And in that small sentence there I knew why I became a yoga teacher. I also know that I had nothing to do with helping that woman release. It is always something greater when these miracles occur.
A few tears slid down her cheeks and she told me how awful she had been to her husband. I listened, while she talked herself into letting it go.
“He’s such a saint.”
“He chose you,” was all I could reply.
I cannot explain what happened in that room today. It is all beyond my human comprehension. But I know it was great and big and that I was a part of it. For that I am thankful. I am thankful to be a conduit for healing. I am thankful to be able to live a life in service to others. I am thankful to be a yoga teacher.