What you find in your mind is what you put in there. So, put good things in there. - Mary Ford
Bringing myself to teach yoga last week was tough for me. I've been sorting through some tough emotions and situations. I could feel my pace being slower than usual as I walked my way to the studio each day.
Realizing this mood was doing me no good and definitely would not serve others I began to look for things to be thankful for. Why? Because gratitude is a game changer. And given that it was the week of Thanksgiving it just kind of made a lot of sense. Also, I have been reading in more places than one lately about the power to choose your mood. So, I decided I wanted mine to be happy and turned toward thankfulness. I began very small & simply as I walked. "Thank you for my legs. Thank you for all the incredible music I have right at my fingertips on my phone. Thank you for the sunny day. Thank you for the opportunity to teach and share this practice (I could be scrubbing toilets instead), etc..." As I continued to walk, I put on some tunes to lift up my mood too.
Not quite where I wanted to be emotionally, but better than I had been at the beginning of my walks I always managed to arrive at the studio in a better mood than when I began my commute, ready to teach and just offer what I could each day.
I tried to maintain a sense of ease and just be at peace with whatever would be in each class. Remembering to intentionally enjoy teaching my classes and just be as present as possible for my students. Sharing my practice with them I began each class asking my students to check in with how they were feeling, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I reminded them to allow their feelings to be there without judgement, just noticing them. Then I invited them to set their minds on why they came to yoga and what they wanted to get out of their class. To make this time their own intentionally using it to just move and feel good. I ended each class with the short, subtle gratitude meditation. I even shared this quote at the end of one class this week, "Give THANKS regardless of your feelings and receive JOY regardless of your circumstances."
Funny enough that's kind of what happened to me this week. Whenever I felt myself getting down or frustrated, like a reflex I began saying thank you, just mentally, for anything good thing I could find. The end result of each class was amazing! Overall all the students in my classes were smiling and happy at the end. One student told me she felt like she had just taken the best yoga class in her life ever. A couple of students came practice with me 2 days in a row. One came in saying she just needed to come back for a lift, to boost her energy & mood. Afterward she told me she felt so much better and energized. A few students immediately signed up for more classes right after taking mine. There was after class laughter, hugs and silliness and discussions. Good vibes all around.
Wow! I'm pretty sure I've never received as many or as wonderful of compliments on any classes I have taught as I have in this past week. A week when I was struggling myself and felt like giving up. What my students didn't know was that I needed those classes just as much as they did. I needed a boost too. And, I have them to thank for that. Together, we just moved and focused on feeling good one breath at a time, took a little time for gratitude and ended up bringing light and a lift to each other as a result.
So yes, "Give THANKS regardless of your feelings and receive JOY regardless of your circumstances." When you create the space to see and feel the good in your life it definitely will come flowing to you in abundance.
So continue to give thanks this week and everyday my friends.
Here's to enjoying your life & All Good Things!