I must confess that over the past 14 months I have found it challenging to find time to be on my mat at all - let alone attend a studio class. But I decided to make it a priority for the holiday weekend and carved out the time necessary to attend my favorite class on Saturday morning. After a week of eager anticipation, I arrived at the studio only to discover that the instructor scheduled to teach another class at the same time had encountered an emergency and would not be able to teach. "Can you help?" asked the studio manager...
I heard myself say, "yes," but everything within my body screamed, "NO!" My mind immediately devolved into a litany of self-righteous self-pity and excuses: Do you know how much I have been looking forward to this class? Do you know rare it is for me to have this opportunity? Do you know how much my mind and body NEED this escape? I haven't prepared a class plan, and I never teach this particular class - I don't even have my playlists! Certainly someone else can come to the rescue...
But no one did. So I taught the class. During centering I looked out over the yogis in the room. Feeling sorry for myself wasn't going to change anything, and every person in the room deserved the space to work through whatever had brought them to their mat. I had a responsibility to them let go of my disappointment and teach from a place of acceptance.
The students were gracious and welcoming, and the time flew by. Through open windows during a silent savasana, I could feel the gentle breeze and hear the birds in the trees. I found myself smiling, and I walked out of the studio feeling every bit as serene as if I had spent the same time on my mat.
Next time things don't go as you planned, can you set let go of your expectations and accept your circumstances as they are? Can you practice your yoga in whatever form it comes?