Overcoming Thoughts with Yoga

Harrisburg sunset

A woman I had never met came into my senior chair yoga class to talk to a friend. She was very upset about her hairdo. She didn’t like it. The woman who styled it didn’t know what she was doing. It wasn’t what she wanted.

She slumped down in a seat and said “I look horrible.” She was so upset, I didn’t think disagreeing would make a difference.

After asking me three times what the class would be, she didn’t seem interested. She didn’t want to do anything but get her hair done correctly. She wanted to go to another hair dresser. This senior community has a hair studio, doctor’s office, and bank in the building. She was determined to go outside and find another place immediately.

“I want to go back to Pennsylvania where they know how to do hair.” Now she was almost in tears. Her voice quivered. Obviously this was much more than a hair-style issue.

I announced we were going to begin class.

Her friend had moved her walker as she encouraged her to join the class. Staying seated was therefore easier than getting up and going.

As we began the breathing exercise, I was pleased to see she was participating. At about 20 minutes she announced she was done. I told her we hadn’t done the real yoga yet and she should stay. We continued on with class and a guided relaxation. She’d finished class without another word.

As the meditation ended, I watched her open her eyes. She was completely at peace. After I turned on the lights and opened the doors, I went over to help her with the walker and she had forgotten all about her hair! She was in a completely different mindset. The hair no longer mattered. She was content and smiling.

Most of the time when this transformation happens, I’m delightedly surprised. With someone in such a state of turmoil, it’s all the better.

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