Giving a Student an Ah Ha Moment

Giving a Student an Ah-Ha Moment is like touching the Brass Ring of being a Yoga Teacher. Because it is only when a student understands and acknowledges the mind and body (yes, and spirit!) connection … that they empower themselves to make the changes that need to be made.

It happened to me yesterday!
A new student came to my Library Chair Yoga class. Pete, in his mid 60’s, introduced himself and told me he just experienced his 5th heart attack and the doctor told him he needed to make some life changes… and recommended Yoga! So, the day after he was released, Pete came to this Chair Yoga class.

He began to tell me all about each episode, when and how it happened, what the hospitals did and did not do, how he almost died a few times, and then started to tell me about his health insurance woes and on and on and on. I welcomed him and told him to pace himself, that he is in charge of himself, and to keep it fun and safe. And if he could … try not to think about all these issues during class.

This intro discussion with Pete prompted me to start my class with this question…..

“Does anyone here have something weighing heavy on their mind?”

In a room full of 40 people, 1/3 of the hands shot up! Oh my… there is alot of stress in this room I thought.

“OK, I’ll check in after class and see how many of you are still thinking about these heavy thoughts.”

… and we began our one hour class full of breathing, stretching, dancing, counting, standing, balancing, twisting and relaxing.

At the end of class I asked again.
“Does anyone have anything weighing heavy on their mind?”

Not one hand shot up! WOW, it really works! We really CAN escape from our troubles and our woes and detach from the ruminations of the mind!

But the ah-ha moment came when I saw Pete a few hours later as I was running errands. I stopped and asked him what he thought of his first Yoga class. He said he loved it. It felt good. He felt energized and relaxed. And then he started telling me about his AFib, his electrical shock treatments, and how he was treated in the emergency room… and on and on and on (again!). I could visually see how worked up he was getting! So I said….

“STOP! Look what you are doing to yourself! You are bringing up all those negative emotions again, living them again, and feeling them in your body again! All those episodes are in the past. Let’s move forward into your NEW future. No more ruminating about the past. Let’s get you well and it starts with a new attitude. No more sharing ANY details of your medical woes with everyone.”

I have never seen a person light up with the Ah-Ha moment light like I saw in Pete’s face. He totally and absolutely got it! HE was aggravating his health condition by focusing on it 24×7, with every word that came out of his mouth he was re-living the negative experiences. No wonder his poor heart was breaking… it was carrying a heavy load with no relief.

Guess what… Pete came to my Chair Yoga class today! My fingers are crossed!