Friday, December 3, 2010

A moment brings it all together

Today’s reverb10 prompt was a great way to reflect on this year: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

My initial reaction was not one of excitement - I tend to be very forgetful of textures, smells, voices, etc. I remember energy and space much more than the more “physical” attributes of a situation. But II liked the idea, so I turned to my calendar and started searching backward. There were a lot of moments this year. I received a Fulbright, I went through yoga teacher training, I injured myself twice (never more alive than when you feel your body that intensely), met new friends, had new experiences, pushed my own boundaries, and traveled the country. But I only get to choose one moment, and as soon as I saw it there in the calendar, I knew, “this is my moment.”

I have posted about it already - the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Conference (AFCC) in Denver in June. The entire conference was, in many ways, one moment, but I am going to focus on a literal moment - the first morning I taught yoga there. That moment changed my life, changed my relationship to this blog, and changed my relationship to the law and yoga generally.

Generally at AFCC conferences there is a morning exercise option. In the past, it has been a walk/jog, and few people show up. As someone who has been given so much from the AFCC family, I wanted to offer something in return, so I offered to teach a yoga class in the morning. I knew by then that I wanted to find a way to combine yoga and the legal profession (even through people who are not lawyers, but work in family law, such as those at AFCC). I also wanted practice teaching. I had no idea what to expect.

The first day, I got there early in the morning after being up late the night before. Alone in the room, butterflies in my belly, and fluorescent lights above, I waited. As usual, the room was cold - hotel conference rooms always are. No yoga mats, just hotel towels. People started to come, one after another. At first, I introduced myself, asked them about their yoga experiences. But then people just kept coming . . . and coming . . . and coming. We filled the room, and then we overfilled the room. Acting quickly, we moved into the huge ballroom and set up in the back.

The butterflies were gone. The chill, stale air still surrounded us, but the feeling had shifted. Here was a group of people who had chosen to come together to prepare for 3 days of conference interaction, of sharing, of ideas, of friendships, and hopes, and community. It was one of my first non-teacher training classes, and it was in a conference center ballroom, without mats, without fancy floors, without mirrors, and instead of being able to use yoga voice, I had to talk over people moving chairs. There are no words for the exhilaration in that moment.

Yoga’s blessings are for everyone, everywhere, all the time. We make it work wherever we are. In that moment, yoga and law and community and good fortune came together, and we shared a class with each other amidst all the noise and stuffiness, we lived yoga.

Looking back, this is the moment where I shifted perspective. I no longer needed to hide from lawyers that I was a yogi, and I no longer needed to hide from yogis that I was a lawyer. The world is full of endless possibilities, and we get to determine how they will work themselves out. In that moment, my two callings in life (yoga and children’s issues) existed in the same space and time. And in that moment, I had hope for all I could do to continue to bring them together.

Namaste and Blessings!

© 2010 Rebecca Stahl, all rights reserved


  1. This is really great Rebecca! I love how you are working to combine these two seemingly disparate (but in my mind complementary) disciplines - yoga and law.

  2. Thank you, Monick. I agree (more and more each day) that they are complementary practices. Each can learn so much from the other. Thank you.

  3. Really appreciate your post.And i am sure yoga is very legal :)

  4. Thanks Yoga Teacher Training! And yes, of course it is legal, but the name came to me, and it stuck. :)

  5. And to think, I was there to witness this wonderful "moment" in your life. Kind of like when I was there to witness the wonderful moment of your birth. Come to think of it, I've now witnessed two births with you. What a special group of moments for me.