“You love it, don’t you?”

I’m learning to tell the difference between a tough class and a class which is sub par because my back pain is too restricting. The last three nights I have been so stiff and sore that I have sat out tree, toe, and everything after cobra series – or rather my modified cobra series. I feel very self-conscious although I have stopped feeling like a failure. Strangely – but in a positive way – it never occurs to me to leave. Perhaps partly because getting up off my back is so painful Whatevs.

For the second night in a row I had a new teacher – new to me, but clearly a veteran teacher. It was a very good class; dynamic and up; bright and relaxed with a lovely group energy.

Afterwards I just happened to be right next to the teacher in the changing rooms – our lockers were side by side. And she turned to me and said “you did great”. And I must have looked at her rather dubiously because I thought, I clearly did NOT do great, I only did about 50% of class. But I said thanks rather blankly, not wanting to appear rude despite being yoga stoned. And she said

“You love it, don’t you?”

“I love it”

“I can tell. You can tell. You did great”

“Thank you, I do love it, even if I can’t do it.”

“You can do it, you did it. Don’t worry – everyone’s on their own journey”

“Thanks a lot. I have a tilted pelvis so I get discomfort sometimes. And I haven’t been to class for four months, so. That’s my journey, I guess.”

“Yeah, seriously, don’t worry, it’s fine. You’re here.”

And we talked a little about loving the heat and then said see you next time and that was it. But walking to the tube I thought, she made the – probably minuscule to her because she is clearly someone to whom kindness comes naturally – decision to say something encouraging and kind to me. No drama, just a few nice words but clearly sincere. And that made a huge difference to me. To my experience of that class and my whole day. I do love my yoga and to think it was evident in my practice brings tears of joy and humility to my eyes. (I want to be clear that I waited to get home before welling up, I’m not totally losing my shit.) Not to mention the perfect example she is setting regarding respecting and encouraging fellow students’ practice for everyone earwigging in the locker room!

Anyway, know that if you make the split second decision to say something true and nice and encouraging to someone, you are doing a good thing, even if it seems merely like passing the time to you.

I believe it was Gandhi who said “Be excellent to each other. And. Party on, dudes.”

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