One of the first things my teacher ever told me is that if I take really good care of myself, God will take care of the rest. Even though I didn’t even know if I liked her yet, let alone that she was my teacher, I decided to believe her. Self-care is one of the best ways to live gratitude and the measure of how much we can give to others. On my most recent retreat to Guatemala, I was dedicated to getting to the temple for practice before each class I taught. Yes, I wanted to practice, and yeah, most of the time what I practiced was what I taught, and these pre-student moments were the beginning of my meditation: the placing of my meditation shawl over me. I was in the bhava before, during, and after class. Since then, it has become important to me to practice (even if only savasana), or read (even if only one quote) from an inspirational book, in the classroom, before class. I love being early, the places I work have books, the rooms where I teach are beautiful, and my practice rides on all of the breath that came before within those walls. I know the rooms aren’t always beautiful, that sometimes, the spin teacher and a few of his students are moving the bikes aside up to the minute yoga class starts. In those cases, can you be in practice for your walk through the gym? Your commute on the train? I become very vata when I’m teaching and often, my removing of this meditation shawl is to eat a little post-class prasad. If time allows, I take a walk after to feel my feet. It is my prayer alone at home when I take off my shawl to stay in meditation, and post-class is no different. Being in self-care before, staying in self care during, and even after class is the way to notice your own tone and how it contributes to the divine collaboration.
Photo Credit: Suki Dalury