Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Being Receptive

I made a discovery while teaching yoga today.

When I am able to be vulnerable, and sit with my students-- when I am willing to get up close, to be seen, and to share space with them -- I receive so much wisdom and healing.

During last few moments before Savasana, I knelt down on the floor, right in the middle of the room, and suddenly I could feel this profound sense of support and love and sacred energy in the room. What an incredible thing to witness-- yogis willing to be with themselves, stretching, taking care of their bodies, releasing.

It felt so simple and pure, in a way. Just being together in a room. I was sitting there watching yogis do a spinal twist and close their eyes and just be. Nothing to do. Nowhere to go. Just resting and receiving a much-deserved rest.

And I felt this urgent longing in me to be close to them -- not to be in the back of the room near the music or up in the front on my own mat. I just wanted to be near them. In it, with them.

So I sat down and placed my palms face up and asked that Reiki would move through me and into the room, and help facilitate healing. I asked that their burdens could be released. I asked that they might feel love and healing. I asked for this process of healing to be immediate and profound.

And I could feel the healing come to me, too. For as much as I give when I teach, I also receive. I realized today that the more receptive I can be to the moment, the more healing the moment brings.

One girl in class had been crying while we were doing hip openers. I brought a box of tissues and set it by her mat-- didn't need to say anything or call it out. I offered a simple gesture to show her that she was supported, and in that moment I remembered all the times on my own mat recently when I'd cried.

Her vulnerability offered me the opportunity to be vulnerable. To be more open today.

Student is teacher is student, I thought. We are each our own best teacher. 

Often I've had this perception that I need to 'hold' the room, or I've had the goal to create something incredible and breathtaking in a class... to bring in a theme or offer up a song that fits perfectly... but often it seems that the more I try to plan something, the less authentic it feels. 

I've realized how powerful it is simply to show up and to be receptive to what's going on in the moment. To teach from the space I'm in, whether that's a tired and grumpy space, or a joyful one. Even if I'm hesitant, fearful, depleted, overwhelmed... I can still teach.

And from this place of authenticity, my students feel permission to be authentic. To be vulnerable. This is what creates the powerful experience of yoga.

Being willing to sit with what is. Being willing to cry, or to lie there silently in a spinal twist and just feel everything that is sacred in the room, and how transformative this practice is.

Teaching yoga today was a gift.

May this practice continue to help me be receptive, and may it touch you to be more open, too.



  1. Hi Rachel,
    Yoga is profound and being curious and exploring everyday is my life's work.
    "Her vulnerability offered me the opportunity to be vulnerable. To be more open today."

  2. Awwww. And this is why I can't wait to go to yoga later.