A yogi sat amongst his students one day, asking a middle-aged woman in the circle, “Would you be our teacher for today?”
“Me?” she asked, with a rising voice of uncertainty. “Sure.” A curious smile formed on her face.
After a breath-filled pause, the yogi asked, “Now, teacher, can you tell us why we do yoga?”
Without hesitation the woman joyfully exclaimed, “To find our youth!”
“Hmmm,” mused the yogi as he looked at the students with a smile. “Teacher, would you do something for me? Would you teach us how to stand on our hands?”
“Uh. Sure,” she replied with a nervous smile. Standing up, the student bent over, placing the backs of her hands on the floor with her fingers pointed towards her feet. Timidly, she inched each of her feet ever more slightly over her hands. “There!” she exclaimed proudly to the class.
“Your feet are not on your hands. They are barely over your fingers,” said the yogi, laughing. “More!”
“But, I can’t,” she said, also laughing.
“More!” he repeated with enthusiasm.
While complying, she laughed even louder. “But I will fall.”
“But…” and she toppled onto the floor, giggling like a teenager.
With the whole class chuckling, she returned to her seat in the circle. After a couple of minutes of quiet contemplation, the yogi smiled at her, saying, “Thank you for being our teacher. Thank you for being my teacher.”
“What did I teach?” she asked with a smile. “I taught nothing.”
“Oh, you are quite wrong.” With love in his eyes and a smile on his face he said, “You taught us that in order to be young, we must be willing to fall.”