Assumptions. Well, you know the saying, “when we assume, it makes an ass out of u and me.”
This week, while teaching a prenatal yoga class, I was reminded about seeing each person for who they are, as they are, in the moment. It’s easy to fall into habitual patterns in life. The way we talk to coworkers, the commute we drive, the family dysfunctions, the way we teach a yoga class. These patterns are comfortable, familiar and much easier than staying present in the moment.
There I was cueing a lovely, deep hip opener for my class. One of the common things I’ve been seeing in my students and in myself is tight hips. In fact, I’d say it’s pretty common in our desk-bound, driving-everywhere, society. But I digress….
When I’m guiding the class to move into half pigeon, I like to offer the block as a prop to support a student’s hip while they are in the pose so that they can relax their muscles more but not having to hold themselves up. In fact, this prop mention had become part of my cueing language. But, this one class, this one student, her hip already touched the floor. She did not need the block. It’s wonderful and great for her to have hip joints that are open in this manner and here, I had her trying to wedge a block underneath her hip for no reason. I had to laugh at myself and acknowledge my assumption.
I wasn’t seeing her for herself, in the moment, that class, that practice. I was seeing what I’m used to seeing in my students. I felt hugely grateful to her and her hips for being reminded that all hips are not created equal. And that it is my job, responsibility, purpose and even my wish to be present, for each moment, seeing each person for who they are, as they are, without judgement or assumptions.
And that’s what it’s all about, right? Staying present. That’s what we learn in yoga, that’s what we teach in yoga. And I was reminded of this very thing by my student and her incredibly open hip joints. This is why, too, we honor the teacher and the student in all beings and all things. Namaste.