homeless, yoga classes, yoga teacher

A Homeless Yoga Teacher

Homeless Yoga Student

Within the past 11 years of teaching yoga, I have experience many a things ……Yet on 12 September 2012, something new and exciting occurred.

As I began to teach the 6pm. Donation Yoga Class at Yoga Tree Mission, I noticed someone observing the class through the yoga studio curtains .  Yet, being a so called ‘yogi,” I was not moved.  And I continued with teaching the yoga sequence.

After a few minutes, I walked toward the opening of the curtains.   And as I retracted the curtains, I saw an elderly man.  I saw a dirty man.  I saw “perhaps” a homeless man.  I saw a human being.

So, remembering the teacher must genuinely wish to understand who the student is and what they wish to become. I invited the individual into the studio space.  And then, I suggested he participate in the 1.5 hour Iyengar yoga class. And so, he rolled out a mat and took the position of the reclining Buddha – Anantāsana.

And as I continued with the class, to my surprise, the elderly man began his own yoga sequence – Supta Padagusthasana;  Virabhadrasana I;  Uttanasana; Urdhva Dhanurasana; Parivrtta Trikonasana; Sirsasana II, Setu Bandha; Savasana.

And as the yoga class ended, I pondered over the yogic expression,  “When the student is ready, the teach appears.”  And then, I thanked the elderly man for coming.  And as he left the studio, I realized, he was the yoga teacher and I the yoga student.

Related Yoga Links:

When the Student is Ready the Teacher Appears
Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco