the last couple of tuesday evenings i’ve taught some “old school” mat classes. this doesn’t mean i think they’re old fashioned, it’s just that i haven’t taught a class this way in quite some time. well except for that one i taught in a mall for something like two hundred participants and a women’s shelter. man that was fun and also energizing for my soul.
but in my studio, of late, there have been teeny little classes filled with people who are (as we like to call ourselves) “special needs” because everyone is a little hurt or something. everyone would end up doing a few exercises together and then off they’d go into their own little worlds of rehab movement and ball releases or long slow stretches.
in short we’ve been having semi-privates rather than mat classes.
gatherings of people doing their own thing in my studio. mysore pilates if you will (which is a class i’m thinking of offering – basically come and use the studio and i’ll make comments from the sidelines and teach you as you need it – mysore is, i believe, a yoga class which is basically come and practice and the teacher helps as needed.)
but last week, and then this week, we had classes. we actually did stuff together, sometimes even at the same time or in unison. in unison! can you imagine? we had mat classes.
and i realised, in the middle of this class last night, how much fun it truly is to teach that way. i’d sort of forgotten… we’ve all been hurting for at least a year in our various ways… (shoulder, hip, knee, foot, thoracic spine, lungs, etc…) we’ve all (i saw we because i’ve had a shoulder injury and it has been healing for the last ten or eleven months now) had to nurse some parts of ourselves.
of course this has been a learning experience for us all. watching your friends go through pain and healing while you’re doing it too teaches us that we aren’t all the same but that we all have so much in common. nicola lange’s mother was right when she said that yoga had made her more compassionate. (book “survival skills for pilates instructors”)
there is something about finding your own body and learning to hear it that helps you to see and hear that others have similar but yet different journeys to make themselves. and with compassion comes understanding.
sometimes i really do think that if the whole world started to get in touch with their bodies and to listen to their breath that we might all start learning to get along. the longer i exist in the world the more i find myself needing not to cause chaos. needing to nurture and soothe and help the river flow more easily.
i am sure that i still have moments (lots and lots of them) where i’m a disturbance in the flow rather than a releaser of snags… but i can only hope that over the course of my life i release more than i cause.
anyway, it sure is fun watching myself and my clients evolve and grow together…