the power of one

hiAt my yoga class last week I only had one student attend. I hadn’t seen her for a while, she hadn’t come to her mat by herself, for her own practice in quite some time. That student was me.

I have a new time slot at a studio I haven’t been teaching at very long. When nobody showed up to my class I felt incredibly discouraged. I immediately chose to see it as a reflection of my own teaching and in turn a reflection of who I was. I’d never had an empty class before. After a few minutes of feeling sorry for myself, embarrassed and not wanting to tell anyone my class had an attendance of zero. I decided to shift my perspective.

‘nobody’ didn’t attend my class, somebody definitely showed up, me.

my class wasn’t ’empty’, I was there with an incredible playlist and with intention.

the attendance wasn’t ‘zero’ it was one, and one very important person I hadn’t put first in a long time.

I decided to see this time as a gift, and a much needed one at that. I spend a lot of time over-thinking, planning and worrying. Worrying about my next step, how I’m being perceived, the impact I’m making, what I’m doing with my life. When I practice I get to forget about all of that. I practice a lot in class but very rarely on my own, in a beautiful studio overlooking the mountains I finally had my little slot of time to devote to myself, what my body felt like doing and quieting my mind all on my own.

On the walk home I resisted the urge to call my mom and tell her about my class, to seek sympathy. Instead I looked at the snow on top of the mountains. The bursting yellow, red and orange of the leaves on the trees and chose to experience gratitude, wonderment and peace.

So many of us put our own experience last. We seek to give, to plan, to be so in our head all of the time. This class was a blessing in disguise. I feel that the universe sent me this class as a lesson in not creating a story about myself based on a completely unrelated incidence. As a gift of time and time alone.

I remember on my yoga teacher training we had a day of complete silence. The idea was to be in solitude with ourselves and our thoughts. We were discouraged to connect with others on any level, even eye contact. I found this so incredibly hard. I am such a social person I really hated being alone but when I delved deeper I found some solace in solitude. The ability to write and think and discover how you feel about your life without outward opinions or interactions. I still believe the key to a long and happy life is positive and giving relationships with others but I sometimes forget the benefit of time alone.

I’m committed to giving myself time on my mat and in my life.

I always talk about seeing the positive in whatever situation comes our way, how can we shift our perspective and move to a place of exploration, self-discovery and happiness in all aspects of our life.

I’m so grateful to my one student that day. To her willingness to try something new, to be present and find the gift in every situation.

with love and kindness,

Sarah Alicia Harvison

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