Yes, you read right; I shower before every yoga session, whether I am teaching a public class or doing a personal session. This is not just for the physical cleanliness aspect of the act, but for the spiritual act of cleaning my spirit and taming my ego.
“If one doesn’t bathe regularly – several times a day, in hot climates – it becomes difficult to rise above body-consciousness.”
– Swami Kriyananda
Each yoga session is more than just putting students through a few poses. Classes would just be simple gymnastics if that was the case. However, when I go into a class, I do so with the knowledge that I am holding energetic space for my students.
The students aren’t only there to get fit, flexible, or recover from injuries. They’re there because I offer them a safe space to unwind and begin the healing process. If I am holding space, I need to make sure that my energy and intentions are pure.
To do so, I usually start to prep 30-45 minutes before each class begins. I shower, wash my face, clean my ears, brush my teeth, and get into fresh clothes. This is to ensure that my physical vessel is pure. I then shift my focus inward and remove myself from any negative thoughts which may be dwelling beneath the surface by sitting in silence and doing a few minutes of meditation or pranayama exercises.
In completing these steps, from the moment I write the flow until the class begins (promptly – more on this another day), I am in a space that encourages healing and growth, so if nothing else, students leave with a sense of peace.
And if all else fails, finding a little peace in our chaotic world will trigger a little healing.
Photography: Ferdinand Senior