Subject Matter Expert (photo)

They think I’m an expert.

I still hold a full-time job.  I like being able to pay my bills. I like having the lights on at home and good food in the cupboards.  At work, when people hear I am teaching yoga, I get visitors stopping by to ask about quick fixes and physical or health advice.  It is flattering to be considered the subject matter expert.  Even when I know that I most certainly am not.  I am not supposed to be flattered.  I am supposed to be humbled, and I am actually.  When the questions come up, I am very humbled that my co-workers would ask me health and yoga questions.  It is after they leave that I feel all full of myself.  I feel like maybe I am pretty good at this and of course they would come ask me.  I am as ego driven as the next person.

So far I haven’t steered anyone wrong on the yoga and health questions.  So far, I am two-for-two.  Okay, so this advice thing is not an everyday occurrence.

I had been visiting in the office with one friend – the kind of work buddy that makes work bearable.  She has been feeling miserable lately.  Her legs are swelling, her feet hurt, etc.  Now my buddy has some physical ailments – her back, her hips, extreme weight, I don’t know what all else.  But I hate to see her in such pain.  She shared with me when I said I had finished yoga instructor training that her doctor recommended for her to practice yoga.  For me, I would love to be her yoga instructor.  But I would want to be there every other day like clockwork – or she won’t do it.

In the meantime I told her there is one yoga pose that may do her more good than any other right now and that is Legs Up The Wall.  I told her to go home tonight and for the next week and put her legs up the wall.  I even got on the office floor, real quick before anyone could come by, to show her how easy this is, and to prove it is just what I am saying it is.  This asana is to simply lie down and put your legs up the wall. (Insert Photo

Together we laughed at how crazy we are to be getting onto the floor and how the visit had deteriorated into one of those visits.  I did tell her before I left her area to do it.  Put her legs up the wall every night for the week and then tell me how she feels.  My buddy has not told me how it felt.  We haven’t talked about it.

But she must feel okay, because a week later an old supervisor stopped by my desk to tell me her doctor has recommended yoga for her ailments as well.  She has issues with hips and joint pain.  We were chatting away and I described some hip-openers she can do in bed before she gets up and some floor twists to just gently “wake up” her hips and knees.  I didn’t demonstrate this time.  I know better now.  My old supervisor seemed to understand.  I only shared maybe three things to help.

Is she feeling better?  I think so because I got word that the two of them have been talking about how they do yoga now and Sarah helped them with their yoga moves.  Between the two of them I only shared maybe four different asanas.  There was no assist.  I spoke of alignment, but how much information was retained?  How can this be considered “doing yoga”?

If I jump rope for one revolution is it considered jumping rope?  Well, yes, I suppose I did jump the rope.  But hey, the full effect of rope jumping (and yoga) is lost on these one-hit wonders.  And yet, hey, if each of them are doing these postures, semi-regularly even, they are doing themselves good.  It’s not about me.  It’s not about the yoga.  It’s about feeling better.  It’s about individual healing.  I need to step away now that the advice is given.

I am no expert.  And they are only doing a yoga posture or three as far as I know.  I hate to burst anyone’s bubble regarding the full nature of yoga, it’s not in a posture.  Who knows when they will want to expand or deepen their practice?  I would like to be there for that.  In a dharma talk I was able to attend the speaker said, “These are not your students.  They are here for a little while for you to prepare them for the next teacher.  You are only the bridge to what is next.”  Maybe my advice is all I get to give them.  I need to be okay with that.

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