“All I’m asking is for a little respect when you get home.” – Otis Redding
A private student recently told me about a shoulder injury which had been preventing her from doing certain poses and otherwise “moving forward” in her practice. She said she had complained about it to another yoga teacher, Anna Pomaska, who had advised her to respect the injury. She told me how those simple words helped her injury to heal, but more importantly, to approach herself and her practice more kindly.
I thought about Anna’s choice of the word, “respect,” which, to me, meant to listen. And not only to listen, but to listen in order to understand. And not only to listen in order to understand, but to listen with kindness and compassion---and from there to respond accordingly.
With all the divisive rhetoric that continues to dominate our political climate as well as conversations we might have over the holidays with people whose views we might not share, I believe it’s more important than ever to listen with respect rather than with judgment. I also believe it’s something we can practice on the mat by, as Anna suggested, respecting our bodies.
I intend to focus on it this month. Won’t you join me? (It’s all I’m asking for…)