Sometimes in life the most unexpected moment, the smallest gesture, can give birth to something big. It was one such exchange on a yoga mat that inspired the creation of our tiny LeafLet Notes.
As a teacher and student of yoga for over 16 years, I am forever honored to witness and experience the amazing transformations that can happen during the practice of yoga. For those of us who have opened ourselves up to the practice, our yoga mats have become a safe and sacred space where we can take off our masks, drop our defenses, and allow ourselves to be vulnerable. This act of letting go, although challenging at times, can change our perspective and bring clarity to our lives.
At a Heart-Opening yoga class I taught a few years ago in celebration of Valentine's Day and the exploration of Anahata (the heart chakra), it was I who was filled with love when my dear friend Pam joined us on the mat that morning. She's the kind of friend I may not see for months at a time, but when we find each other, the space between us closes in like a hug and we fall back into each other's live as if we chatted just yesterday. Pam also has this special kind of energy that lifts your spirits and makes you smile. But on that day Pam was not her cheerful self. She shared with me that her mom was ill and the stress that comes with caring for a parent was weighing heavy. With that in mind I kept a close eye on Pam during the class knowing that our energy can shift during the practice of yoga and that she could very well experience a flood of emotions.
A yoga teacher herself, Pam has learned that our yoga mats are mirrors of our lives. The way we are off the mat in our day-to-day lives is often the way we are on the mat. For me, this mirroring effect often shows up with my ego rearing its ugly head, telling me to hold strong and be still in any given asana (pose) and wear a mask of strength and confidence. This feeds the perfectionist in me who always want to get it just right and make everything look perfect. But for Pam, on this day, this mirroring effect showed up in an entirely different way. It was raw, honest, beautifully messy, and vulnerable. While the rest of the class was moving through the vinyasa flow, they were unaware that Pam had shut down. She had curled up into Balasana (child’s pose) and was quietly sobbing.
In that moment, all I wanted to do was hug Pam and take away her sadness. But I had a class full of students looking to me to guide them through the next series of postures. So I did what any mindful yoga teacher would do, I guided my student through the sequence and into child’s pose. This gave them a moment of pause to reconnect with body and breath while I cared for Pam. With a gentle hug and a touch of her hand, I gave her a tissue letting her know she was right where she needed to be – facing the sadness and uncertainty.
What I discovered in that moment was that the smallest act of kindness can make an unexpected connection between friends. Of course I wanted to do so much more to let Pam know she was in my heart and on my mind. That moment changed me. It inspired me to create a tiny gift that I could randomly leave upon my students’ yoga mats whenever they had a challenge (or celebration) in their lives. This gift had to be inspiring and uplifting, just like Pam, and create a beautiful interruption in someone’s life. It was then that our tiny LeafLet Notes were born.
In order to get the notes “just right,” I took some time to bring my idea to fruition. While creating the LeafLet Notes, I realized the concept of sharing notes of encouragement, love, and kindness could have a broader reach. So, I’m expanding the designs and themes so the notes can be shared on or off the yoga mat. I’m happy to announce that on January 1st we launched our first 3 sets of LeafLet Notes:
• Our Chakra LeafLet Notes series was my original idea that Pam inspired on the mat that day. So for our yogi friends, you can share words of strength and trust, and show someone that the extraordinary is within reach with our Chakra LeafLet Notes.
• Our Love LeafLet Notes are timeless messages of affection that are sure to capture and win the heart of someone special. Perfect for Valentine’s Day and beyond.
• Our Nature LeafLet Notes celebrate the lush of nature and all it has to offer. Share one with someone who loves to be surrounded in nature and makes your world a better place.
Our LeafLet Notes would never have been realized without Pam’s courage and honesty. She showed up on the mat during a challenging time in her life and reveled her true feelings for the world to see. It’s my hope that our LeafLet Notes give us all the courage to be open and honest with our feelings. We all have the power to make a difference in someone’s life. Make an unexpected connection and create a beautiful interruption with our tiny LeafLet Notes.