By: Danielle Wilson
When I get down to the root of why I teach yoga, it’s because I find so much joy in creating a space for individuals to get to know themselves, love themselves, and catalyze growth within themselves. This motivating factor for my career has initiated a ritual of sorts that I “practice” after every class I teach. If you’ve found yourself in one of my classes before, you may have noticed that I habitually ask individuals how they feel post-Namaste. Many may think I’m just striking up conversation, but there is actually so much thought and intention placed behind this inquiry. Today, I’m divulging exactly why it is so important to me to know what your experience was like in class. It’s a passing question that holds so much opportunity for wisdom, growth, and love. Let’s dive in:
- I think it’s easy, given the busy world we live in, to cross the threshold of the yoga studio, enter the real world, and fall back into unawareness and reactivity. In my opinion, personal reflection is a super power. Creating dialogue around how you feel after a transformative experience, such as a yoga class, is a great way to seamlessly transition out of the physical/spiritual experience and back into your day, while ensuring that the benefits and high vibrations of class carry over with you! (This is something I encourage any yogi to take time doing, whether it is in conversation with someone else, or simply reflecting within your thoughts!)
- As a teacher, asking you where you’re at after class is a greatway to discover if I’m serving you in the way I intend to. It also helps me investigate how I can enhance the experience even more so for the next time you step on your mat. In this sense, opening a line of communication after class allows me to understand your body and mind better, and the more information I have, the better I can serve you as your instructor!
- Creating the opportunity for you to vocalize your experience is a part of the experience in itself! Yoga class is a place in which you should feel seen, heard, held, and valued. Once in a while, as I guide yogis out of savasana, I’ll remind them how important each one of them is to the space. Every class you show up to would not be the same without you. As beings, we share energy, and as yogis, we are acutely attuned to those frequencies, so acknowledging the importance of each individual’s presence is SO important to me. What better way to remind you that you matter, than to inquire about how you are and where you’re at post-asana? On that note, let this be a reminder that your experience DOES matter, even in a sold-out class! So please, please, empower yourself to express everything you hope to gain from your time on your mat—you deserve it!
- (I don’t really have a selfish bone in my body, but I do get a special pleasure out of this reasoning) In general, I lovewhen people surprise me with their perspectives and opinions. I am completely intrigued by the mere fact that all of our brains work so differently! This interest is in my nature as a student of life, and that nature makes me infinitely curious about the way in which people experience anything, and how that differs from my experience. Asking you how you’re doing after class, or what your experience was like is almost a hobby of mine, in the sense that I am gathering information on how you experience class differently from me, and everybody else. I am inspired by the variety of answers I get, and a lot of times they catalyze a new way of thinking within myself!
So, why am I telling you all of this? Well, aside from the fact that I think each of these reasonings are helpful themes to incorporate into your overall practice, I also believe this ritual of mine proves an important point about language and intention. Our lives are saturated in an endless amount of words, thoughts, questions, opinions, content, etc. etc. etc. So much of what is put out into the Universe has ill intentions, or an absence of intention all together. The practice of yoga teaches us to be purposeful: purposeful in our breath, our movement, and our lives. What if we also applied that sense of purpose to the words we say and conversations we initiate? Even when it comes to small talk after a yoga class. It only takes a sliver of a moment to completely alter someone’s day, including your own! I’ve noticed that the more intentional I am with my words, the happier the people around me become, and the more fulfilled and at peace I find myself.
I challenge you to utilize the awareness you cultivate on your mat in your day to day conversations. Take a moment, step back, discover what truly makes you curious about something or someone, and then use the power of your words with purpose. Not only is it liberating, but it’s an act that will raise the vibrations of the world around you!