Some of my happiest moments in life where in college when I would discuss Pilates or yoga with a peer of mine and moments later find myself showing them a pose that related to our discussion. I still remember the coolness of the kitchen tiles of the university’s cafeteria, as I got down on all fours and drew my opposite elbow to knee to present an exercise to strengthen one’s core (called bird dog in yoga). I was super excited to share this body wisdom with my interested friends.
Well, over the weekend I had another such moment. A child in the group I was working in was doing three-legged down dog. Not that she knew she was doing this. To her, it was simply an intuitive and fun movement—ahh I love this aspect of childhood!
Anyway, I told my co-teacher that she was doing three-legged down dog and then I got down next to the child and did it with her.
My co-teacher was impressed and soon after expressed that she cannot get her heels to touch the floor when doing the down dog pose. I then proceeded to show her two exercises that would help warm up and loosen her calf muscles and hamstring muscles so that she may go deeper into down dog, such that her heels would get closer to the mat.
I felt that same invigoration and excitement that I had felt 13 years ago showing my college friends Pilates and yoga poses.
Often when we teach something for a while it can get stale. The excitement fades. But if it’s possible, I wish I could keep that same excitement and joy in showing Pilates and yoga poses that I did when I was in college—when I was myself first discovering the joy in these exercises, and delighted to share it with others.