A highlight of my recent travels in Paris was attending a yoga class in a small neighborhood studio. Though the instructor’s English was flawless, she taught in her native tongue. All those high school body part vocab lists uploaded in my brain – arm, leg, right, left, breathe. I recognized the words for strong while in warrior pose and solid while in mountain. The very same descriptions that I use. Somehow, though, they held a certain beauty listening to them in French.
In the calm of her gentle class, she allowed for moments of self-reflection in and between poses, where she spoke one phrase again and again: Ouvrez le coeur, Open the heart. The repetition wasn’t because we didn’t understand her words, it was because that reminder is worth repeating in any language.