Back when I did my yoga teacher training in 2005, I was so excited to call myself a yoga teacher. I loved how the practice made me feel, was enjoying being part of the community and, to be honest, thought it would be a really cool ‘job’ that I could travel the world with.
At the time I had no real idea what teaching entailed. I didn’t know that it was much more than a physical practice. Or that yoga would influence me into becoming something more then just flexible and strong. I only knew it was something I enjoyed and that it was going to lead me in a new direction.
But as I got more and more into it something didn’t feel right. I was teaching something that was all about connecting the ‘body’, ‘mind’ and ‘spirit’ but instead was feeling doubt, uncertainty and like I wasn’t being true to myself.
I started to feel uncomfortable and ashamed to call myself a yoga teacher. I slowly became less excited, less involved and unsure if yoga was for me.
I’ve sat with this for a long time. Trying to understand. I’ve come to terms with the fact that:
Yoga. It’s not you.
I hear people say "I should do yoga but… I’m not flexible enough. Yoga classes intimidate me. I’m gonna suck and people will judge me."
I’ll admit, I myself often feel overwhelmed by the ‘yoga scene’. I feel like I don’t fit in and need to be on overdrive to keep up. I don’t feel comfortable.
Lets face it. Us Westerners have taken what we like best about yoga and have done a damn good job of Americanizing it. Labeling it. Marketing and social media’ing the shit out of it. Creating an image out of it. At least it’s getting people interested. And it’s changing lives. But is the practice being lost?
It seems like people are focusing on BEING SOMETHING instead of being themselves. That there’s this search and desire to act a certain way. To fit in to a certain image. To live a certain lifestyle. To "Let go." "Be present". And that "Everything is awesome".
Is this really what yoga is teaching us?
What would it be like if we all practiced in a way which invited curiosity within our own process. If we took time to explore the experience instead of getting lost in the idea. If we took the time to evolve in our own way as we are ready.
Are you willing?
There are currently so many modalities out there opening people’s eyes, bodies and minds to explore something that they were unaware of before. Whatever technique. People are learning. People are becoming curious. People are starting to change.
And that I find inspiring.
As I continue to practice the different modalities that I am intrigued in, I am amazed at the naturally growth and development. Yoga has opened me up to getting a glimpse on who I am. Feldenkrais is changing my approach on how my body moves, expanding my awareness into something I never thought possible. Somatic Experiencing is teaching me the language of the nervous system where I am discovering the unprocessed shit that resides within me. Life allows me to put it all into practice. It all ties in. It's quite fascinating if you ask me.
Intrigued? Interested? I hope so.
May the curiosity be with you.