April 13, 2021 - This weekend I finished the Yoga Teacher Training program I direct at UVM. This was the 9th year, and definitely the most challenging because of COVID. I had a profound experience on our graduation ceremony day, where we had a picnic dinner outside after our graduation, and I realized it was the very first time I had ever seen any of these people in-person without a mask on. The first time! It was shocking and took me back a little. We had done some classes on Zoom during the training, but how incredible to have a group of students and never see them.
For their final what I had them do is write an essay about the training and what they got of it. A main theme was that they felt seen. Isn’t that wild…after wearing masks for 8 months, not seeing each others full faces, the take away was being seen! I think that’s pretty awesome. And, you know, we don’t do anything particularly unique in the training, but we do make a practice of acknowledging each student as they are, allowing students to be who they are, and encouraging them to speak with vulnerability. This isn’t rocket science, it’s really quite simple. Reading what they wrote both made me feel humbled from their answer, and also a little sad that they didn’t feel seen before. It’s not hard to see someone, but people feel invisible, and when they are seen it is life-changing. We all have the ability the See others, it just takes looking.
With that, in a yoga class the seeing really starts with ourselves. Being open to seeing our own light and goodness, and our forever awesome Self! That can also be life-changing. So, hey, how about you do that for yourself today…and, consider giving the gift of sight to someone else as well. :-)