Most of us give a lot in our lives. To our jobs, our families, our friends, and our communities. Many of us, who are naturally givers, can forget about the importance of receiving, of filling our wells so that we can continue to give.

This morning’s class was all about opening and receiving. It brought me to an important realization – yoga is receiving for me.

I have loved taking movement classes my whole life – from gymnastics, dance, and swimming as a child to qigong, kung fu, yoga, and more dance as an adult. I have been blessed to have many gifted teachers over the years. Teachers who bring grace and humor along with their wisdom and knowledge. Teachers who inspire and challenge and shed light in their own unique ways. These classes and practices and teachers fill me up and inspire me and keep my body and my mind feeling healthy.

Many people have asked me if I teach yoga or some other movement practice and I’ve often wondered why I don’t, since movement has always felt like such an integral part of my life and I know nearly everyone could benefit from moving more and in different ways. I once became certified as a swim instructor, I’ve very nearly signed up for yoga teacher training courses, and have thought about becoming a qigong instructor. I’ve often felt that I “should” do this since movement means so much to me – shouldn’t I be bringing this gift to others?

Today I let the “should” fall away. I let myself simply receive the gift. I let myself be an open vessel and be filled. I let the movement pour into me and replenish me. I felt the deep gratitude I often used to feel when sitting and breathing or bowing my head to the mat in the first moments of class. I felt how much more I was able to receive by letting go of any conditions.

So, I believe I will return to coming to yoga and any other movement practices for now as a grateful recipient. Perhaps someday, my cup will so overflow that I will feel deeply and truly inspired to step onto a path of sharing these practices as a teacher. For now, however, I am content to simply receive the nourishment that others so generously give, so that I may continue to give in the ways that I do.

And, sometimes, when the balance is right, I get to experience that state of grace where the giving also feels like receiving.

How do you receive in your life? Are there any conditions or “shoulds” you can let drop away from simply receiving? How do you feel when you are in balance with giving and receiving?