Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Recovery Boys

"Hi. My name is Kristina and I'm a friend of Bill's."

Almost two years ago I met a student who changed my life. He wandered in aimlessly off the street not really knowing why he was there. And that's the way it is with Yoga. The saying is, "The teacher appears when the student is ready" and in his life he was ready.

I remember the evening vividly because I was giving a free demo on 'How to Use a Neti Pot' right after my class was finished. Only a few folks stayed and this student was one of them. It's hard to imagine but I met one of the most important people in my life while I was demonstrating how to pour water through your sinus canal. Welcome to my life.

It was a fast friendship, the best kind. We found we had so much in common that we were always talking after class. He immediately wanted to help me grow the studio, something that no student had ever offered before. So I went to another networking group per his request, and listened to this novice yogi's thoughts on building a yoga business. Yeah, ok.

But one day, he snuck something into our conversation that I wasn't prepared for. He mentioned that he had perused the recent Kripalu catalog and noticed interesting classes for men. I, of course, said how wonderful Kripalu was and he should definitely go for a program. But that wasn't what he meant.

In an effort to correct me, he offered in full disclosure that he was in recovery. I'm quite sure he noticed my naivete and went into further detail. Recovery from addiction. Oh.... His thought was that I should offer a class for Men in Recovery. Oh... Totally not qualified for this..... But my type A personality jumped all over this opportunity!

Next thing I knew I had several men in recovery signed up and an 8 week lesson plan completed. I was scared shitless. I was not, by any means, qualified to lead a group of men in recovery. (I mean, seriously. I'm having a cocktail while I'm writing this.) I enjoy a lot of life, and I know that addiction runs in my family, but I've never felt like I was addicted to anything. Except maybe Yoga...

That first night was a living hell. Even though I had a lesson plan all detailed out, I felt like a bug on a pin. They looked at me like I was crazy and I was sweating. But they kept showing up. Week after week. And after the 8 weeks was over, a couple of them kept coming to class, regularly.

They turned out to be some the most wonderful men in my life. They pushed me out of my comfort zone. They forced me to use what I know to help an otherwise left out population. They continue to be guiding forces in my life, whether they know it or not, and I love them with my whole heart.

One of them has become my beloved, surrogate big brother. Someone who has my back. Someone whom I can trust.

The one who 'forced' me into leading our recovery class is the reason I write this blog as well as the reason I have filmed my class for YogaVibes.

I never had people believe in me like these men. I am grateful.

And here's the kicker: we're all addicted to something. I'm admitting it here for the first time. I can't sleep without my favorite stuffed monkey. His name is Sluggo. And I'm an addict.

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