I remember looking up at my yoga teacher once upon a time and thinking – I hate you.
Not very yogic of me I know. With my competitive ego flaring its nostrils, I was red in the face puffy, sweating and struggling. She made it look so easy as if bending your back that far back was normal and was smiling telling me to breathe while she handstand walked around the room.
She had the strength of 10 men as well as being able to bend and flex like bamboo in a Japanese windstorm, all the while smiling with glowing vegan skin and total Zen energy. I thought wow, Yoga teachers must have it all. All the asanas down just like Beyonce puts tracks down and I bet they are so chilled all the time and never stress about stupid things like what top goes with those jeans and if that guy is gonna text back. I bet they sing Sankskit in the shower and never struggle on how to say the words. I bet they are the happiest people in the world.
But the thing is we see them for an hour at most, and in that hour they are of course, demonstrating and showing their best self, in order to aid you on your journey to your better and best self.
I soon figured out when becoming a yoga teacher myself, that you can’t escape being Huan. That is to say, we are all Human…And that includes Yoga Teachers. (its a secret but we have bad days too!)
If anything as a teacher of Yoga we are facilitators that are there to help others, in the pursuit of understanding what it is to be human. To deepen self-awareness and open up the journey to self-knowledge and understanding.
No one has a perfect practice. Because us Humans are imperfect so your practice is called practice because guess what you are practising. Every single day. Even if you’ve got all the Asanas down like Beyonce, and can handstand walk – I promise you that there will be other limbs of the 8 that you might struggle with. There is always room for growth. There is always room for deepening your practice and your connection to yourself. You never truly arrive, it’s a journey… well maybe if you reach enlightenment but who knows what that’s like other than Buddha.
What I’m saying is we only ever see the top of the iceberg, the finished product or the best of… Just like our social media sites, pictures are carefully selected for your enjoyment or for your motivation. We see what other people want us to see. We don’t see the struggle, the fight, the falling out of tree pose or the hours and hours and hours of practice gone in for just one backbend. The hours working at a coffee place to save up for a Yoga Teacher Training. We only see the picture of getting the certificate at the end. Humans are fluid beings, we are living and alive – therefore there is no finished product, we are ever flowing, ever growing and ever expanding.
Everyone’s practice is completely different. Even if for example a backbend comes naturally to you, another pose might not. They say it’s the poses you avoid the most in your practice that you actually need the most. We can get stuck going over and over all the poses we are really good at, sticking to one style of yoga we are really good at and leave practising the challenging ones for later, for another day, which turns into next week, next month and oh wait …. you still can’t do a handstand.
So next time you look up and think – F*** you to the Yoga teacher that looks like they have it all sorted – they don’t. You’ve all seen that quote, ‘Yoga Teachers, we’re all here because we’re all Nuts’.
And more often than not, its ill mental health or poor physical health that has to lead these practitioners to yoga and then has inspired them to share what they have learnt with others. As a teacher, I feel it’s my job in that class to be as authentic as I can be and to facilitate a learning platform. I’m Open to help others be Open. I personally feel it isn’t teaching for the teacher to run through a sequence of Asanas that only they can do perfectly and for students to attempt to copy. Copying someone else’s body won’t help yours. I feel Yoga Teachers should create a space where souls can come to learn play and understand. But how can they learn if the teachers themselves aren’t continually learning? Or at least being authentic enough to be Human and say hey – I find this Asana difficult – what about you? Because we aren’t designed to be perfect, even on the really good days 😉
We are Human.
Beautiful Humans. Who are Loved and have the Capacity to Love.
Humans Who Learn daily and nightly, and have the Capacity for such Great Understanding and Change.