Today was my first official teaching class at the Northbrook Yoga Center (NbYC) and I was presented with two terrific students: a woman and her 12-year old son.
I asked them about their yoga experience, and the sweet mom said, almost apologetically, that her practice had been erratic but she had been doing yoga for many years. When I presented the question to the boy, inquiring as to what he liked, or wanted to work on, and he shyly offered (and with zero flippancy) "whatever works today." The mom added that he had spent most of the previous summer practicing yoga to videos. This took me by joyful surprise.
I wanted to create a class that challenged the preteen, but not overwhelm him, and yet still be a class at a level that would (could) engage his mom. I wanted to open up the ideas of really noticing the intrinsic parts of your body doing yoga rather than just getting to any specific posture like a test of physical strength or acrobatics.
So on this rainy day, I found myself working with their positive, deliberate, and amazingly calm energy, and guided the three of us through grounding, heart-opening, calming, and core-strenghtening postures. The room was wonderfully warm and we were able to do long pose holds with controlled transitions, and generate ample heat for sweat while still keeping our breathing even.
The young man not only followed along gracefully, but had a focus and attention parallel to, equal with, and an honest mirror of his mother. It was again surprising, and motivating, and inspiring at all once. When someone speaks the adage "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" it's often in negative context, but in this case, it is surely a compliment wide and sincere.
Their peace with the practice - as a male and a female, a mom and a son, a young person and an older -brought to me a sense of gratitude that I hope I was able to appropriately express to them both. Today Namaste is a thanking of these unexpected gurus...any of those that help you to shine your own light a little brighter.
(I look forward to another chance to practice with them!)