Written by Holly Zajur, PYR’s Communications and Studio Associate

Life lessons arise in many unexpected ways. Yesterday, we hosted Saturday Salutations in support of our yoga programs for ESL Children and Youth. The sun was shining, Sue was singing, and the sculpture deck was full of yearning yogis. But somewhere in between the Sun Salutations, the speakers stopped working.

The sound went out and students had a hard time hearing and understanding what was going on in the class. Not being able to hear or understand the instructions can be incredibly stressful. While it is incomparable to what migrant communities face coming to the United States, for a short thirty-minute span, students experienced a teeny tiny glimpse of what ESL students in schools might feel like.

If you were practicing with us on Saturday, take a moment to reflect:

What did it feel like when you could not hear what Sue was saying?

Did you feel lost?

Did you feel like you could not succeed?

What would you do if you felt this way in daily life?

And how did your practice help you deal with that stress and get past these barriers?

Here is how our PYR community handles life’s hiccups:

  • Patience and Perseverance (Tapas / Dedication)

So there is Sue standing on a deck teaching a class to over 160 people, and there is no sound. She could have panicked or been agitated. The class could have stopped. But Sue pushed through. Not only was she already facing her fears by using cues in Spanish, a second language to her, she continued teaching through all of the obstacles. She even played the banjo at the end to show how to embrace uncertainty with grace.

 

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  • Support (Seva / Selfless Service)

Our Superhero Sound Team, Matt and Slash, jumped off of their mats and raced to our rescue. They took not only the time out of their early Saturday morning to help us set up, but they went above and beyond the call of duty, interrupting their practice and doing everything they could to get the speakers working. Our ambassadors moved their mats to the areas that were more distanced from Sue to repeat her cues and demo for the group to follow. Students had to look around and rely on each other to follow what others were doing visually. We had to support one another and collaborate to get through class. We are continually inspired by the selfless service of our amazing students, volunteers, ambassadors, and our board as they share so much of their sacred time with us to support all parts of PYR.

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  • Let Go (Aparigraha / Non-Attachment)

You, our wonderful students, took what could have been an annoyance, and turned it into bliss.  You let go of what you expected going into class and embraced the situation and found beauty in what it was. You took the unexpected of life and turned it into something special.

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  • Laugh (Santosha / Contentment)

Our staff, board, and ambassadors could have been upset that today that did not go as planned. But do you know what we decided to do instead? We danced. We laughed. And we celebrated the ways our practice helps us to deal with the inevitable hiccups of life.

 

  • Rest and Recharge (Brahmacharya / Moderation)

The speakers stopped working today because the outlet was not working and our batteries ran out of power. While this is a common technology issue, it is also something each of us face in daily life. We keep going, and going, but if we are not plugged into a reliable power source, we stop working. We need to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves and tuning into our internal power source. It is important to moderate our energy and make sure that we recharge regularly in order to sustain ourselves and our impact in the world.

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These are a few, among the many, messages that yoga teaches us each and every day. The ways the entire PYR community dealt with the unexpected demonstrate the skillsets that yoga brings to our students. Thank you to all who practiced with us this Saturday, for not only embracing life with a yogi state of mind but providing opportunities to share these life lessons with ESL youth in our community through your practice.

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