I’m still in Nicaragua.
It’s hot and humid, but full of beauty everywhere I go. I’m here getting my yoga teaching certification so I expected to sweat a lot and feel sore.
I didn’t think about the responsibility I’d have thrust into my hands.
A few days ago, the manager of the resort we are staying at invited us to jump in his truck and head down to what’s known as turtle beach. We were excited at the idea of seeing one or maybe two sea turtles!
It was dark when we got there and at first we were the only ones there. They gave us red plastic to put over our phones so the light wasn’t abrasive and then we were given a basket…full of baby sea turtles that fit in the palm of my hand.
We each named one.
We blessed them all.
And we set them down in the sand and watched the sea sweep them away.
I didn’t want to let mine go; I wanted to hold him forever and keep him safe.
Did he know what was waiting for him? Did he know how big the ocean was? Did he even know how to swim yet?
There is a turtle hatchery at that turtle beach and they work hard to save as many as the eggs as they can, which we found out are valuable at the market. They also work hard to keep the beach orderly and peaceful so none of the turtles are disturbed.
Sadly, many people brought flashlights and cameras onto the beach without covers and they crowded the hundreds of turtles that came there to lay their eggs. Some people moved the eggs they found and generally disrespected the grounds and animals.
We left shortly after we said goodbye to our new little friends.
I named mine Wyatt.
We blessed the grounds and the turtles…who would often run over to each other to comfort them through the birthing process. We blessed the hatchery and we prayed that everyone would experience this event with love and respect.
It may not seem like it, but I learned a lot about teaching yoga during that trip. When someone comes to a class, they are putting their trust into the teacher…because their teachers trusted them enough to go out and teach others safely and beneficially, just like how I imagined the baby turtles trusted us because the hatchery trusted us enough to let us take them out to the big water.
I think about that baby turtle every day, just as I hope to think of my students and their well-being as I start to teach.
As teachers, we can’t force a good mood or good practice onto our students, just like we can’t hover and follow those baby sea turtles through the rest of their journey. We can only give them the tools we think will help them on their path, so they can make the right choices for themselves and hopefully live their life to the fullest.
Author: Stacy Porter
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Wiki Commons