The non-judgment went out the window when I found myself on the other side of the looking glass, giving instructions to students as we warmed up at the beginning of class, only to find that one person was already doing core work, or moving into balancing poses. In my first classes I can't say this bothered me much; I was so focused on giving a good well-rounded class and keeping everyone safe, that I just thought, 'yeah let him do his own thing'.
But as he kept on coming back to class, the situation started to give me a real attitude problem. I mean 'hello, aren't you listening to me? I said Savasana, not Sirsasana!" - maybe I need to invest in a whistle? Finally, he took Savasana and I exhaled; just thinking about it made my jaw clench. I started wondering, "why is he here? He probably thinks this class is too easy; does he even like the class? Why is he not closing his eyes during Savasana? You're freaking me out dude. Oops there it is, self-doubt, again; this shit is getting old...
Thinking about how I should proceed, I thought I could ask him to just stay with the flow of class as it is distracting to me and perhaps even to other students. On the other hand, here's someone who's coming to this space consistently, displaying an extraordinary amount of passion and commitment. Yeah, well, he likes to go off on a tangent sometimes, but he is here, expressing his Yoga every day; there's beauty in that; and who am I to take that away from him?
Instead of taking away, I will focus on having him work on refining his alignment even in the simplest of poses; that can be my gift to him.