I have been thinking about expressing kindness lately. And here I am thinking kindness in words rather than kindness as an act of kindness. I have always liked the expression “actions speak louder than words” as words can often be said without any intention behind them. However I have found myself in situations in a yoga class lately when I have felt unsure of the level of kindness that is okay to express in words.

In case you are practicing yoga on the mat, or have been in the past, you probably know that yoga opens you, not only physically but emotionally as well – which is perhaps where the magic in yoga lies for many practitioners?

So, when lying down in Savasana, Corpse Pose, the final relaxation at the end of a class, you have opened up. And here is where I have been wondering what is okay to do. I usually lead my students into relaxation through what I have learned from my mindfulness meditation training. I say things I have previously noticed help me come to a complete state of relaxation in this posture, where the mind can be still.

The questions I have been asking myself are the following: how far can I go in saying kind words from my heart to people I don’t know? Am I holding back sometimes due to fear of going too close because I don’t know what they are going through in their lives? Am I respecting the students personal boundaries? Or is it my own fear of giving out kindness from my heart that is stopping me?

I spoke to a friend of mine regarding this a couple of weeks ago and she understood what I meant. She suggested that I let kind words drip in more and more every week so that I would not give everything out in one single session. I liked that so that is my plan! It believe it will make me feel safer in what I deliver during Savasana, and I also believe it is a wise way of respecting the personal boundaries of each student.

My yoga teacher once spoke about how some teachers prefer to use music in their yoga classes, also during final relaxation. He recommended however not to play anything in the lines of The Beatles’ “Let it Be”, as that could so easily make people cry. Not that there is anything wrong in being tearful, however he suggested that we as teachers do not push it to that state. I found that to be a good advice!

Here’s what I would like to say to all of you, and these are words that are part of the compassion meditation in mindfulness meditation:

  • May you be safe and free from suffering
  • May you be as happy and healthy as it is possible for you to be
  • May you live with ease

Happy New Year everyone! X

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Annette Wiik

My name is Annette. I am a Yoga Academy Certified Teacher (BWY-Accredited School) and started practising Hatha Yoga over 20 years ago. Holding a certificate from Bangor University to teach mindfulness-based courses, I incorporate my knowledge of mindfulness meditation in all my yoga classes. I have two grown-up children.