Monday, August 04, 2008

Epiphany: SWEAT

Today I assisted an adult yoga-class, leaning into lower back tattoos and lifting the hips of downdogs row-by-row.  I've gotten so used to teaching little kids yoga, I'm perpetually spooked I'll break into some kind of pranayama-song-and-dance in the middle of class, but so far I've held it together.

As I was moving heads-shoulders-knees-and-toes, I realized one thing was really different than kids' class.  Sweat.  I was layering his sweat and her sweat on top of my sweat, sweatifying the soles of my feet by stepping on other people's sweaty soles to align them in pigeon pose.  I was leaning into t-shirts soaked transparent, stepping around puddles on the edge of sticky mats.

As germy and nose-running as kids can be, they don't sweat.  I never really thought about that before today.  I'd often come home after teaching 4-5 kids classes a day feeling grubby, and worked to swat away more bugs and flus than ever, from reunions with germs I hadn't encountered since 3rd grade. But I'm realizing a nice silver lining of teaching kids is...they don't really sweat.  Yeah, they'll get a little sticky if you're hopping through poses in June, but you don't end up wringing out mats after class.

Not that there's anything wrong with sweat.  Its just a different experience to come home layered in sweat that isn't yours.  Just as its a different experience to lead a class where ujjayi breathing is the loudest sound, when you're used to kids belting out Sun Saluation Show-Tunes and ringing the singing bowl for quiet.  Its as different as the grunts and sighs in adult class verses the giggles and laughter of kids falling over in forests of tree poses.

Just different like that.