Being a yoga teacher is a practice in belief, self belief. Most days we have to stand and face a group of people and teach yoga, secretly hoping that what we have planned will be good enough, strong or soft enough, flowing or opening enough or even interesting enough to hold the student’s attention for most of the hour. Our fragile egos can ride so easily on our perception of how our class went. Like a yo-yo tethered to others opinions, we can go up with a positive comment or down with some negative feedback. This bobbing on the wind of how others judge us can make our life hell or heaven.
It happens off the yoga mat as well. Someone may make an offhand remark, criticize how you are doing something, send back your report for the 7th time for re-working, or comment on how you look, think, act, talk, eat. When we hear what we don’t want to hear we usually react in some way. We could get depressed, we could rally others around us to double check if others believe in us, we could engage in self destructive behaviour, we could run away, we could get very angry.
When someone chooses to comment on some aspect of our life, we have to remember one very important thing. What they see in us is not actually truth or reality. It is their version of the truth or how the world should be. Through their eyes and opinions they have formulated a picture or story of reality and they want you to see it that way as well. When we hear what we don’t want to hear about ourselves what we are doing is believing in their version of the world. We may then start saying to ourselves, maybe they are right, maybe I am too, big, unfit, unlovable, unable, maybe I am not quite enough.
The practice of yoga is to help you remember that you are enough as you are. In fact we say you are perfect. You don’t need to be good enough, fast enough, bigger, brighter, smarter a better teacher, parent, friend than you already are. This doesn’t mean we can’t all work at improving ourselves, it means accepting yourself as you are right here, right now. It means not believing in other people’s stories about you. It means that you are enough.
Practice for this week: When have you lost faith or belief in yourself or when have you tried to be better to please someone else? You are enough already. Try to connect to this feeling sometime this week and step away from reacting to how others think you should be.
Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self- Baghavad Gita