Easter Sunday 2013 I attended the early morning power yoga class at my favorite studio. I wasn’t thinking much about the class. I had a full day ahead of me and this was an item I was checking off my list. I was getting something done for myself before I went to celebrate Easter. A lot of people must have been doing that because the studio was full.
I knew our instructor John, a little. Previously we had chatted about becoming certified in yoga and teaching school in Camden, NJ, which we had both done. A few weeks before, he shared with our class that he had practiced yoga with his granddaughter. He had said he was so glad that she would have that memory after he was gone. I always thought of that precious image when I saw him.
Starting the class, he announced we would be practicing Rabbit Pose for Easter. The last time I had done the pose was when I dropped in on a Bikram class years before. When he mentioned it, I wasn’t sure if I could recall the exact pose.
Class started. When it came to the inversions portion of our class we all took Rabbit Pose, then we moved on. It was a great class. I remember feeling good, every challenge was an opportunity. Mostly, I was really impressed with myself that I made it to a early class on a Sunday.
During savasana, which is normally a welcomed respite, my mind was racing. I had an outside egg hunt planned with the neighbors for the afternoon and it was supposed to rain. My mom and mother-in-law were coming over. I had a lot going on.
We sat up from savasana, legs crossed, hands at heart center. Keeping our eyes closed we raised our hands to our third eye, opening our palms to let in love and light. Finally we bowed, saying “Namaste.” Upon opening our eyes, each of us discovered a shiny plastic Easter egg at the top of our mat. We opened our eggs to find two baby carrots.
It is silly, but I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was incredibly touched by this small, festive gesture. The sight of a bright blue egg, appearing where previously nothing had been, was the first true surprise I had experienced in a long time. Hiding my misty eyed emotion, mostly because it was confusing to me, I waved a thank you to John and left the studio to move on with my day.
I thought about that class often. It finally struck me why the carrot stuffed egg pulled at my heart strings.
It was John’s thoughtfulness, planning for a group of people who weren’t expecting anything except a class. In my case anyway, I was just happy to fit the class into my day. There were probably a million reasons for John to not make the extra effort, but he did. I pictured him at his kitchen counter or table diligently packing those baby carrots into Easter eggs. How sweet!
Also, the shared experience of finding our eggs created an instant shared memory. It bonded the temporary tribe of our class. I remember giggling when I found it and looking to my neighbors. When normally, I would have been hustling to roll up my mat and move on.
Lastly, he could have easily handed them out at the end of class or put them in a basket near the door, letting us know we were welcome to an egg. Instead, as we rested, he silently placed one in front of each of us. It was a whimsical act that harkened back to the wonder of egg hunts and the delight of finding an egg where you weren’t expecting it.
That is exactly what happened. Without expecting it, I was swept up by the magic of that little plastic egg that held so much more than two carrots.