Thursday, July 26, 2012

Loss & Teaching - Class 8

Yesterday was the most picture perfect day of the summer thus far. Blue skies + magnificent breeze + no humidity = ideal Hamptons climate. For reasons I can't share publicly, there was an utter contrast in my heart yesterday. I found out on Tuesday that Sari Weinstein, mother of my most special and long-time friend Suzanne, had passed early Sunday morning. She battled Cancer with the strength of an army. She was a very special mother, wife, grandmother, teacher and leader within her community. Her loss will be felt for years to come and her footprint on this Earth will never be completely filled. I haven't seen Sari in years, but who could forget her contagious smile and gorgeous red hair? She loved long days at the beach with her family and was a friend to anyone who crossed her path. Her remarkable legacy was marked by the boatloads of people who have been hovering over 24 Alma Lane since her funeral. When I pulled up my car last night, not a single spot remained on her street to park. Children flooded the streets, immune to the sadness of great loss. I found myself jealous of their innocence and began to reflect on the class I had just taught 2 hours prior to arriving at the Weinstein's.

Bikram students, new or seasoned, are a lot like children. They are innocent and naive in their practices. They don't have the ability to turn off their minds yet; they are active and can surprise you at every turn. Last night, a student said to me after class, "I wanted to kill the person next to me because she was jumping ahead and not moving with the class from pose to pose." This is the greatest challenge for most yogi's, just to listen, just to be and not let others steal your peace.

So I took this lesson to heart while paying my respects last night and just listened to what anyone connected to Sari had to say about her. I teared up on several occasions. How could you not? Fred Weinstein was retelling beautiful stories of the trips he took with his wife. They loved to travel; anywhere and everywhere by the beach. They liked what they liked and no one could ever steal their peace and love for one another. I find this kind of connection very rare today, so when I see it, I am utterly fascinated.

The beautiful thing about teaching yesterday, as always, was that for 90 minutes, I put my heartache out of my mind and body and put all my focus and energy into my students. If they listened to me for even a fraction of the time I spent listening to Suzanne, Lori and Russel last night, then I know I did my job.

RIP Sari. We will all save a spot for you at the beach and Sue will be sure to leave your top down!    

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