Thursday, January 29, 2009

A lesson in expectations - yoga for everyone!

Here's a story.

Over the past month I have been teaching two morning classes a week and the cement plant, Lafarge, just outside of Canmore. As a part of the company's heath and wellness iniative all the workers (over 100 of them) have the option to participate in, and get paid for, morning "stretch" classes every day of the week.

Deb Boucher, a local pilates teacher and busy mother put enormous amounts of energy into getting this program going and I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to work with such a diverse demographic.

Prior to teaching my first class, I was nervous and full of expectations about how the union workers would receive my classes. I was wary of being a lone female amidst a crowd of men. I dressed in baggy Carharts, boots and wore safety goggles to meet the warehouse standards while teaching. I was somehow convinced in my mind that these men would be resistant to moving, breathing and stretching - i couldn't have been more off!

As the weeks progressed, I added stretches and often there were over 70 men in the warehouse stretching at 7:15 in the morning. So amazing! Many of the workers made a point of saying thanks, asking questions and letting me know that they were enjoying the program. I am fairly sure that none of them will ever read this but i am sending a huge thanks to all who joined for showing such openness in something that was clearly challenging and new for many of them.

As for me, i am still learning and reflecting on the way my mind manifested ideas and judgments about the way my classes would be received at Lafarge. Every day our minds create situations that are not actually true and i believe that so much suffering and many challenges result from the energy we put in to these false realities...

I share with you this story in hopes that we can all move a little closer towards a truth that is free from the clouds of judgment that often sneak into our lives in ways we don't even realize.

As for yoga - more so then ever the time I spent at Lafarge has shown me this practice can reach out and enrich the lives of anyone, if the opportunity is there.

more soon.


Yoga With John said...

Greetings from Boston,

Found your site from a comment on my blog from the Elephant Beans folks. Wishing you all the best with your new Studio! Perhaps I could visit someday. I love that part of the world.

Aum Gam Ganapataye Namahah.


GildaE said...

Hi Sarah -
I'm not surprised to read that your sessions at Lafarge are a success. Your smile and sincere love of yoga would win over any new members to your classes. All the best to you and Lydia with the opening of your new studio. Say hi to Scott and we wish you were both here...the beach is beautiful!

Gilda :)

Sarah and Lydia said...

gilda...thanks so much for your comments - i hope florida continues to treat you both well! We'll be thinking of you as we make the move to squamish.