This past Sunday my wife and I witnessed our daughter’s graduation from 200 hours of training to be a yoga instructor. She and her seven classmates participated in an hour-long yoga session, and took turns teaching each other, as well as their friends who attended in support of them.
At the beginning of each student/teacher’s section of the class, the facilitator, Aida (one of the trainers and co-owner, with her three sisters, of the studio) asked her what her personal “power” word was and, upon hearing the answer, led the rest of the attendees in a cheer, “Go, (power word)!” The power words included “you,” “strength,” and “confidence.”
I had never attended a yoga class before. My wife has, but neither of us took part this time. We sat in the back and observed. It was such a positive experience. The participants ranged from a graduate who also teaches kick-boxing and taekwondo (she’s VERY flexible) to a graduate’s boyfriend, who was taking yoga for the first time. All are encouraged to do what they can, and no one is judged for what they cannot.
As my daughter said to the class during her section, “Don’t worry about getting this perfect. Yoga is not about finding the perfect pose. If you’re okay with imperfection, that’s human; we’re all human, so just embrace it.” She and others, including the facilitator, advised the class to “listen to your body.” The practitioners aren’t there to hurt themselves. “Walk away from pain,” Aida said, adding that, if you want to challenge yourself, then, okay, “struggle is an option.”
All of this, and more of our experience with the people there, reminded me that God is good and God is love. Our graduate called her experience taking the class as “life-changing.” Indeed. The studio’s slogan is “Transform Yourself. Transform Your World.” Not too different from the song we’d sing at my local church, which ends, “let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”