On Saturday we had a practicum for Thine (a Scandinavian spelling pronounced like Tina). In our practicums, one teacher is scheduled to “demo teach” while I and the rest of the group observe and give feedback. I have already journaled about several of the other teachers, and there are more to come. Generally I mean to give equal time to each of the amazing teachers who have been finishing up their Immersion and Teacher Training. But for Thine, I’m giving extra time and space. Here’s the thing: she started Yoga 5 years ago when she was 60 something. In our culture, older women become gradually more invisible. They sort of disappear. So I think it’s only fair to do double-time for this amazing woman over 60 who did something radical –started an in-depth study of Yoga.
By Thine’s own account, she hated Yoga for the first few months because it was so hard to reawaken the muscles and movements and actions that had been dormant. But she simply decided, with that amazing red-headed resolve of hers, (and after having looked around her at the state of affairs with her age-mates), that she must, must, MUST continue.
Well! After those first few months, she felt so much more awake and alive. She does not hesitate to tell you that Yoga has changed her life. She has told me that her friends from quilting and other groups simply do not want to hear about Yoga and seem, in some cases, to resent her Yoga-linked brightness. To those of us in the Yoga community, she is a sort of super wattage light – an inspiration of a woman who is radiant, beautiful, amazingly steadfast, and deeply open-hearted. I have noticed that she quietly makes it a point to approach every single older woman who starts Yoga to encourage her, and to give her a sort of low-key testimonial. I know for a fact that several of those women have persevered in Yoga - and come to their own conclusions about it’s wonderful benefits – as a direct result of Thine’s encouragement.
Well, when Thine began Immersion studies last Autumn, she was very clear that she did not want to teach. But as things often go, her plans were not exactly in line with her heart’s trajectory. It became clearer and clearer to me and to her, that older students would benefit so tremendously from Thine’s instruction. I started nudging her more persistently to consider teaching. It didn’t take all that much nudging really because Thine knows all about service. She just naturally wants to help. The upshot is that Thine is going to be “offering the fruits of the practice outward,” as we say in Anusara, by teaching a Senior’s class both at the college and at Garden Street. I am so entirely grateful for that and for Thine being in our Yoga community.
And all of this has a little bit of a political edge too. For me it is a big hoorah and a wonderful demonstration of the power and potential that resides in older women. They truly are ripe in their ability to offer the fruits of the practice outward. Cheers for Thine!