On a cold morning on the UC Fullerton campus, I met with a group of High School seniors ready to try something new. The group had just finished a month long college tour. Their lives were about to change. I was asked to give them their first yoga class to embrace these changes and introduce a mind body connection that will help them learn to deal with stress and grow their lives in positive ways.
We met on a grass field with hovering dragon flies and the sun quickly moving over head. Some yoga mats, some towels, some bare earth under their feet, we started with basic deep breathing techniques. I noticed some reluctant eyes to close which gave me reason to speak about letting your breath take you inward.
We receive so much stimulus through our eyes. Often times using sight to navigate situations that would benefit from the intuition of the heart instead. If we can quiet ourselves enough to feel the rhythm inside us we can pause before the natural judgements of sight kick in. When your eyes close the world falls away. You hear the subtle sounds in the distance become distinct, shapeless noises that absorb the imaginative mind and drive worrisome thoughts out.
But sometimes its too hard to follow or too scary to lie beside others not knowing exactly what to do. So there’s that. Which way to bend? Am I doing things right? These questions we ask, is the practice of yoga. Yoga is getting comfortable with not knowing and challenging yourself on the mat, then carrying that practice into your life. Moments of feeling possible exude the skin and live in the posture all day. Doing the crazy hard pose, embarrassingly wrong can put other tasks in perspective. Giving yourself a safe fail and an agreeable laugh makes you braver and more resilient.
Being with them gave me a new experience. I look forward to many more new adventures with others.