The Johnny Appleseed of Yoga

Picture of Beth Hughes

Beth Hughes

I feel extremely blessed in my life. My marriage has survived for almost 28 years with many ups and downs. Somehow we always manage to find our way home. My children are healthy and both have 4 years of college under their belts (one is finishing up 7 this spring). We are all relatively healthy as well.

I have seen so many examples of how hard it really can be around me and I doubt I can (or should) share them all. Yesterday after church a choir made up of people with special needs sang. I found myself both thankful that my children are intact, and blown away by the abilities of some of these children, and sad. My niece has Angleman’s Syndrome and will never be able to talk; she functions on a 2 year old level even though she is 19. I wish she could participate in a choir like this. One of my students at the preschool this morning has special needs; their class is usually a challenge for me. But they all did well and this child participated well. I found myself thinking that one day they will be in this choir. All of my morning classes went well and participation was high.

My first afternoon class had one child. I found myself thinking during the first half how this is totally not working and I should just stop teaching here, numbers are just too low. But then this child shared things with me about their life that nearly brought me to tears. No child of 7 should experience the things they have. I was able to give them some self soothing activities to do. Then I played a song that speaks to my heart…evidently it spoke to theirs too, they told me they loved it. So right then and there I decided that even if this one child is all that comes for the remainder of the year I’m all in. I then taught gentle yoga and it went well.

Next I went to SOW, Inc for the first time. SOW is the new family homeless shelter in Rome. I had 5 moms and 5 kids. I was very worried and conscious not to talk too much yoga language (Sanskrit) this first time. I was also worried that they would just find this dumb. What can these people that are down in safety issue on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs possibly get out of yoga? Still not sure but I can tell you that they seemed to love it, the boys ask me to come back every day.

I think today I made a decision to teach from my heart first. I don’t have to use all the language or all of the myth to make an impact; if I can get that in over time great, if not….patience. Yes it is beautiful but if one is not ready for that type of instruction should they be denied yoga instruction? NO, we are the ones that must shift in those situations, giving only as much as can be handled. I get frustrated with those that think yoga must be perfect. Isn’t it really about striving and suffering not attainment?

I’m not sure what to do with all the things I am thinking or how to sum up the day…perhaps Terry put it best tonight when he told me I am “the Johnny Appleseed of Yoga.” I taught 8 classes and made a total of $4 today in money, but today was priceless in my heart.

Reposted with permission from:

Beth Novian Hughes has been studying yoga since 2005. She completed Her RYT-200 certificate She is also certified in Radiant Child children’s yoga (RYCP-2), Prenatal Yoga, restorative yoga, and soon Senior yoga. She is also a member of Storytime Yoga’s League of Yogic Storytellers. She has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Education and Human Development. She teaches yoga to children as well as adults, incorporating Brain Gym® and sound healing into her teaching. Beth is a founding member of Yoga 4 Rome a non-profit teaching yoga by donation in Rome, Georgia.

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One Response to The Johnny Appleseed of Yoga

  1. tony enright says:

    Keep up the good work, it’s about all the good you do.

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