Previously On Martinez Yoga…
This past week the kids I teach had off. Mid winter break! Not very wintery in NYC right now, but I’ll take the break. No problem.
My teaching schedule eased up some, and I had the opportunity to observe and assist a Chair Yoga class at Visions, services for the blind and visually impaired. I’ve never observed and/or assisted a Yoga class to this population before. I was excited to learn, and do something new. I was also a bit nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. When I got there, I lead the teacher, who is blind, to the room where we would have practice. As she took my arm, I felt her energy transferred to me. That energy was of trust, and I felt a great responsibility to lead her in the right direction. It was intense. When we got to the room there were fifteen or so people in chairs waiting patiently for her arrival. The assistant for that day read announcements and read roll. I sat to the side, and observed. As soon as the teacher gave cues to sit up tall in their chairs, and feel the ground beneath them, I felt a deep interiorization and calm of everyone in the room. This is Yoga. The room was dynamic with the sound of the teacher’s voice, the sound of sitars as background music, and the sound of ujjayi breathing. It was amazing to watch. The notion of them not being able see to this wonderful practice made me cry. I thought, “God, it has to be so hard to be blind or visually impaired.” I also thought, “What am I crying for?” I got the feeling that my new friends didn’t want my tears. They could use a bit of help, but not sympathy and tears. I got it together, and assisted the class, making sure that they we’re safe, and following the teacher’s instruction. The class was ninety minutes, and when it was over the whole group thanked me, and welcomed me back. I thanked them for allowing me to assist, and for trusting me. I’ll be there once a month assisting, and look forward to it.
I left that class changed. It was a reminder for me that whatever life hands, you got to make the best of it, and be grateful for what you have. Many thanks to my new friends at Visions for helping me see me a bit more clear.
Photos by Anna Rose