I couldn’t have imagined it would ever happen, but it did. I came to a place where I completely hated teaching yoga.
My classes always seemed to begin with someone asking me what they should eat…as if rolling out your yoga mat at the front of the room also meant that you were a nutritionist. A nutritionist who was also calirvoyant and knew EXACTLY what each and every body in the room needed.
Class ended with people wanting to talk-which was my favorite thing-if they were asking for help on a pose or maybe had a meditation question. I loved that-the helping of the people….but when someone came up to me and asked how to get arms or an ass like mine-I seriously wanted to roll my eyes. I’d try to thank them for the compliment and explain that it just comes with the disciplined practice..but that answer never seemed to satisfy them. Oh well.
I decided to teach yoga because of the way it made me FEEL….not look. The look of a healthier version of my pre-yoga body was just a perk along the way. Of course for some, like myself-health and nutrition also become part of the territory because you begin to see your body as the spiritual vessel that it is and you start to care more about it. I do understand those stereotypes of a yoga teacher and I am happy that some feel comfortable about approaching me with their concerns-but I do wish that everyone would accept that being a yoga teacher doesn’t make someone an expert in all fields and it doesn’t mean that we don’t grab a piece of bacon or a cupcake when we feel like it. (I know, I know-not ALL of us do that. Sigh) I will never forget the look that an old teacher of mine gave me when she heard that another student and I were going for coffee and a bagel after class. GASP! Well, get over it lady. There’s no such thing as a one size fits all when it comes to being a yoga practitioner. (And with that woman-I had totally earned a bagel and coffee! -with EXTRA cream cheese…..mmmmmm….I don’t eat them anymore though. lol)
In a world of instagram yogis who post their best shot of their most difficult or most beautiful pose, I encourage you to ignore it all. Stop worrying about your mat coordinating with your Sweaty Betty outfit and…wait. You don’t even know Sweaty Betty-DEAR GOD! (That’s totally cool-don’t worry about it) Bring your focus to how your body FEELS when you practice. Enjoy the life rushing through your muscles as you wake them…because I can tell you that for me, and I am only one out of WAY TOO MANY teachers, that I don’t give a shit about your headstand or standing split. Finally able to touch your toes in forward fold -which is really allowing you to sleep better rather than rolling around all night because your lower back is so uncomfortable? YES! YOU-Bring me more of THIS!!!! YOU are who reminds me why I LOVE to teach yoga!!! We are just people being people and trying to figure it all out together, ya know? The best part about teaching yoga is when I learn from my students because being the student is really where my heart will always be.