Last night I went to the studio to teach my weekly Wednesday 6 pm yoga class. Although I most always have a healthy-sized group of followers, I noticed no one had shown up yet, and it was 5:51! I had lit the candles, arranged my Tibetan singing bowl, marked the passages I planned to share from my books, and turned on my Spotify set list. Was I going to have to bag it? This was strange. Where was everyone?
It was now 5:58, and I figured I would give it a few more minutes before packing it in. All of a sudden, the door swung open. My student Stacey made her way in huffing and puffing and looking frazzled as she stuffed her things into a cubby. I apologetically told her I did not think anyone else was going to show, expecting her to want to leave. The two other times this has happened in my yoga teaching experience, I realized that 'singletons' either feel guilty for making you stay and teach a class to only one person, or else prefer to come back when there is more of a group.
Her reaction surprised me. "Oh PLEASE! I don't care if I am the only one! I JUST NEED SOME YOGA!", she pleaded.
She went on to tell me how crazy her life has been with wrapping up her school year, knowing her son was soon leaving for college, and having to attend events that made her miss yoga class - not to mention feeling all the emotions associated with these things. As I listened to her, it was as if she was telling my own story, as a school teacher and a mom of a son leaving soon for college. I realized that I needed yoga, too!
We agreed to park our mats next to each other, rather than mirroring, and practice together. Although I was still verbally guiding her through this 'class,' there was a lot I did not have to say. Stacey is a seasoned practitioner, and I took this opportunity to luxuriate in practicing with her, from our centering pranayama supported with bolsters and blankets, all the way through to savasana, where we both melted into our mats in silence, for I knew what we both needed. We kept our physical practice fun and light. I played my music more loudly than I normally do as we moved through our sequences together and got lost in the poses. We even giggled about how often the tenants who live above the studio decide to vacuum their floors during classes.
When we sealed in our practice with a 'namaste' to one other, I felt such gratitude for Stacey's friendship and partnership as a fellow yogi, mom, school teacher, and woman trying to juggle a million things and do them all well in these busy lives we lead.
Last night, the universe gifted me with Stacey as another reminder that we are all one.