This week my yoga boss offered me a bag of Santa hats in case I wanted to give them out during the last class of the year…
But I did offer my class a festive treat my own way — I taught them to chant lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu, with some of my thoughts about the universality of the human experience, no matter what our particular faith, and the power/responsibility we might take for our own way of participating in that experience. Relevance to Christmas? I let them draw their own conclusions. But I made them some charming little mantra cards to take away, with the chant written in transcription and Devanagari and a simple translation, just in case they wanted to go on with the contemplation… They had looked quite scared at my proposition of learning some Sanskrit but of course they were fine, and were smiley and cheerful as they left class. I don’t think it was simply relief at escaping my teaching until next year!
Actually I had some lovely comments from them in an end of year reflective kind of way and I start to feel the place my class takes in their lives. One of them rather grandly referred to my class as the space for his weekly ‘spiritual practice’ (glad I rejected those Santa hats then!) and a couple very generously said it was the best part of their week.
In turn I attended one last pre-Christmas class with my teacher and felt once again the spheres of practice — learning and teaching, giving and receiving, practising with friends and with strangers… Perhaps I am not so alone as I often feel.
But now I have a two week break from teaching and am looking forward to a little more time for my own explorations without wondering about incorporating any of that exploration into a teaching moment. Or that would be the plan if I weren’t spending time away from home with family and therefore unlikely to be left alone long enough for a single surya namaskar let alone a generous explorative practice 🙂 We’ll see…. Of course I’m taking a mat with me just in case.