Walt WhitmanThe best part of teaching? Learning from your students.

Honestly, you all come to my classes to learn something from me but you have NO IDEA what I learn from all you lovely lot!

A student in one of my morning classes inspired this week’s theme, I won’t name her directly, but those of you that know her will know she has been sharing her progress of her hospital treatment in the EmPower yoga community Facebook group and last week she got some bloody good news. Some bloody good news indeed – like pop the champagne sort of news.

How this woman has remained so positive, smiley and just generally lovely throughout what she has been through is beyond me – she is genuinely an inspiration.

And I myself feel honoured, blessed, flabbergasted (is that actually a word, like in all honesty, is it?) that she chose my yoga class as one of her her silver linings that came out of the ordeal she has been through.

In true Wayne’s World style “I am not worthy”.

The lesson that this brilliant woman has taught us all – that we ALL need reminding – even the wise old yodas of the yoga world need reminding – is that you have to get through bad times in order to GROW as a person.

Change moves us, shifts us, moulds us, gives us experience, gives us life, makes us interesting and keeps us on our toes – but most importantly, helps us appreciate the good stuff.

My yoga practice isn’t what is used to be, not like it was before the DVT, but I look back now and think that was more of a practice of ego than of understanding.

Sure I LOVED yoga, and I loved all it’s benefits and what I learned from it, but I was still comparing myself and beating myself up about things I couldn’t do. Not necessarily comparing myself to others, but sort of fighting with myself, comparing this week’s Emily to last week’s Emily, or this month’s Emily to last month’s – like if I missed yoga? Or a run or a gym session? Well then I hated myself – I was ruled by my own self criticism – my own ego.

My Deep Vein Thrombosis taught me to slow down – the very thing that I said last year I needed to do.

Now slowing down, I’ll admit hasn’t been easy, I get depressed when I’m not entertained, stimulated, don’t have a goal, a purpose – I feel lazy just sitting and watching TV like it’s wasted time and I could be doing something else.

Fine – but if that something else is always work? Then it’s time to take a break, because if you don’t, your body will. Slowing down is good, watching TV is good for you sometimes, helps you switch off, escape, relax. You don’t always have to be chasing butterflies every single second of the day (Emily!!! – yes I am so talking to myself right now, so shout out to the peeps that feels this is aimed at them too!)

My point is… bad experiences – whether we cause them ourselves or it’s just bad luck, don’t have to be bad, they can mould us, and help us see things from another perspective, introduce us to new people, places, communities, fashions, languages, and skills.

Without the bad there is no good, and without opposites there is nothing to balance, without Darth Vader, there is no Luke Skywalker… (sorry but it is Star Wars day this Sunday so had to get that ref in ha!) … and life is all about balance, isn’t it?

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