Because I teach very gentle yoga I end with many people in my classes who are going through stuff. This might be emotional processing or it might be physical limitations/disease etc. Often I don’t know what is going on for people unless they tell me. Despite my previous belief that a yoga teacher could see whenever I was crying or in pain during class I now know that isn’t always the case. You can’t always tell when someone is having a rough time… nor can you always know when someone is sick.
I have been quite surprised at the amount of stress and physical pain that is out there in the world. Most of the people that come to class look healthy and emotionally strong but as I get to know them better stories come out about why they are in a gentle yoga class. Lots and lots of people come who are working with ‘hidden diseases’ or intense emotional pain. It has really opened me up to the reality that we all suffer sometimes. Really deep and heavy stuff happens to people on a regular basis. I believe as a culture we are taught to hide our pain so most of us aren’t aware of the depth of emotion around us. No one wants to be around a depressed person right? Or hear some whining about how they are in pain?
But many of us are in pain… I guess seeing this reality through the lens of a yoga class has really shown me how important it is to tread lightly and treat strangers with kindness whenever possible. Maybe the Buddhist’s know what they are talking about after all when they speak of the four noble truths.