Self Awakening Yoga Studio's Blog

Yoga, Breath, Light, Love

IT’S TRUE – SET THEM FREE AND THEY WILL COME BACK

Or at least participate!

The most unexpected can be found doing yoga!

I teach yoga at a half way house two nights per week.  There are 31 beds filled with male residents ages 18 – 35. The founder, a recovering addict himself, is an inspiration; truly an individual to bow to.

The interest and participation at the house has been very minimal – not a big surprise since they are all men.  And let’s face it, men just don’t “get” yoga.  That is not a true statement of all men, but my experience is that most men do not embrace yoga.

A few weeks ago, my yoga classes were made mandatory to all residents who have been at the house less than 30 days. The first mandatory class brought me 8 students; 4 of whom were very resistant to being there. So I started class and immediately the 4 guys started talking out loud, laughing, grunting…essentially making their resistance known and disturbing the class.

My immediate reaction was to abandon the class and leave.  I own a yoga studio where resistance does not exist; in fact, it’s quite the opposite.  My customers are coming to me voluntarily, seeking what my teachers and I offer.  Bu then I reminded myself that I was the mature professional and decided to offer these guys an alternative.

I asked them all to give me their attention.  I acknowledged they were there forcibly but told them that I had no intention of forcing them to actually do yoga.  Instead, I offered those who did not want to participate the opportunity to take a resting pose and simply breathe for 60 minutes; sharing their energy and breath while breathing in ours. When I asked if they thought this was a fair compromise they said yes.

So I proceeded to teach the class.  When I looked up from demonstrating downward facing dog, I was pleasantly surprised to see that all 8 were participating! Go figure right?

Set them free and they will come back.  And come back they did…voluntarily the next class. In fact, 3 of them come to my studio on the weekend.  So cool!

I know they are learning  from me, but the lessons that I am gaining from them are far beyond any expectation I could have had and the gratification? WOW!!

Free Bird!

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