As a student, it's the class where you're completely locked-in--you get lost in the flow, your breath is deep, you feel strong and connected. Your mind doesn't wander and you expand into the poses. The sequence works for your body and is just what you needed today. You pop into the asana that has been elusive in the past, you find ease in the most challenging of shapes, and everything that the teacher says makes sense. As you settle into savasana, you're tired and open and you take it all in and let it all go.
As a teacher, you feel one with your class. The students are all speaking the same physical language and it makes perfect sense to you. They breathe as one and you know that today, they are here. Your sequence is a perfect match for the energy in the room, your music carries that energy forward, and as the heat builds, you ride it and encourage it along without having to force or cajole. You become a medium for the practice and you are fully present. You OM together, and everything is as it should be.
But know that this doesn't always happen.
Sometimes, as a student, you step onto your mat and you're tired, preoccupied, tight, anxiety-ridden. The sequence feels like a struggle and the energy in the room doesn't match your own. Every time you come to, you realize that you've been far away from your body, thinking about that thing that's bugging you, and that you've just been going through the motions. You glance at the clock, take lots of breaks to towel off or drink water, and can't wait to get home to the couch.
It's not so magical.
And sometimes, as a teacher, you're distracted by the interaction you had before class, the student who is totally lost and confused, the negative vibes you're getting from the woman on the left side of the studio. The sequence you prepared doesn't match the energy in the room, so you're adjusting and you still don't feel like it's exactly right. You mess up your cues and everyone in class is at a different level and a few are doing their own thing. You feel like you're carrying all of the energy and your music feels off and your mind keeps wandering.
Not so magical.
The thing is, not every yoga class is going to be perfect or even that fun or great. Sometimes you just show up and go through the motions, and although not ideal, that's okay. It's just showing up, time and time again, that allows you to reap the benefits.
In yoga, just as in life, we do our best. Some days are magical, and some days are a total flop. Sometimes we cry tears of joy and sometimes we cry tears of sadness or frustration. Sometimes we're with it and sometimes we're clueless and it shows.
This is all a part of our experience, and if we want to really live, we've got to embrace it all.
I think the key is to just hope for more magic and less flops, and to enjoy the magic as much as you can when you're lucky enough to be a part of it.