The planning and the time that it takes my adults with physical and developmental disabilities to show up for Yoga class humbles me. Humbles me to the point of tears. How dare I complain that it is cold and I don’t really feel like going somewhere. How dare I complain that I am too tired. How dare I make the choice to not show up.
They show up. They show up on the mat, or in their chairs. They show up with the utmost of courage. They show up with smiles on their tired and weary faces. They show up after perhaps a day of loneliness or a day filled with therapies.
There is vulnerability as my ladies in wheelchairs work so hard to sit a little straighter, to raise their arms a little higher, to breathe a little deeper. They show up to connect. They simply show up with grace. The open their minds and their hearts to receive.
And my friends on the mat with developmental disabilities. They show up with everlasting smiles and presence. There is no worries of their abilities or what they might look like. Their simplicity in the everyday joys of life reminds me of beauty in each moment. They show up with laughter. They too show up with grace.
I am filled with gratitude for the teachers that they are to me. Every time I teach yoga to my special population, I learn far more than any class, any retreat, any intensive.
I learn about courage. I learn about tenacity. I learn about being vulnerable. I learn about joy. I learn about equality and acceptance. I learn about grace. I learn what it means to show up.
And for each moment I spend with them and beyond, I am thankful.