This morning I participated in a yoga class, fulfilling one (of several) requirements for a yoga teacher training program I am completing. The instructor has been really happy having me attend her classes over the past four weeks. Her class is a “Level 1/2” class, which means it is designed for beginner and intermediate students. (Though, she pushes the envelope of “intermediate”, and does some pretty advanced stuff, if you ask me.)
As a result of the Level 1/2 setting, though, many of the students in the class are not quite able to do some of the more difficult poses; whereas I can at least attempt nearly all of them (if not do them outright). So I think the teacher has enjoyed having me participate in the classes in part so that she can be challenged, and have the opportunity to coach someone who can just do different things in a different manner than what she is accustomed to.
I have really enjoyed this teacher’s classes; but I no longer “have to” attend them if I don’t want to (because I have fulfilled this specific program requirement). After today’s session, I thanked the teacher for her truly terrific instruction, and packed up my gear. As I was heading towards the door to leave the studio, the instructor approached me and said (in a somewhat low voice), “If you ever want to come back to class, you can just come. You don’t need to pay. I’d love to have you back.” She then smiled, turned, and left.
Oh wow. What a tremendous gift! I was (am) truly touched. Yoga classes are not inexpensive; to offer free classes to a student is something deeply special. Now, in my own mind I had already planned on returning to this teacher’s class (as I genuinely value her instruction); but this generous favor she extended to me made me want to continue on with her all the more. To have the skills to be able to give someone access to the power and peace of yoga is a gift; to do so truly without expectation of reward or compensation is a genuine blessing.
You better believe I smiled today.