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The Fear and Great Beauty of Teaching the Solstice

Paula Solstice ClassIt is a tremendous honor to be asked to teach the Time Square Solstice yoga event. So when they called a few months back I was humbled—that is, until I freaked out! My mind inhaled and when the exhale came it sounded a lot more like “what the f@$#!” then the sound of ocean. What are you going to say to 3000 people and not sound crazy?! You’re going to have all these people quietly sitting in an barely comfortable cross legged posture waiting to hear something coherent or perhaps even inspired! I have to ask what would you say if you had 3000 people in front of you? What is the one thing you have come to in your life that you’d want to share with the world!?

When I asked myself that very question what came thru loud and clear was not the best way into headstand, but instead the best way to “love”. I choose to speak about the one thing that has truly made an effect on my life, which was how to take the scared and vulnerable heart, which each of us has, and to keep it open. I looked over a sea of faces that were dying to do some crazy asana and explained that these postures are important, but not in the way we might expect because they are merely tools. They are ways to bring our mind into the womb of our practice — which is the womb of love. During the practice we physically hold ourselves in the vibration of unconditional love for as long as it takes. I explained how that has been my own practice and how at some point I even stopped trying to love and started simply being love. I honestly admitted that this was the one thing I did practice every day with out fail and it was the one thing that truly changed my life.

I felt myself tremble as I said these words. I heard my mind ask “what do they think of me?” Then at one point I looked into the eyes of a few of them and I felt it come true. It didn’t matter much if I stumbled on words or gave a less than clear direction about their hands in downward dog because they knew one thing to be a genuine truth – in the spirit of Yoga I loved each and everyone one of them exactly as they were which meant I loved me too.