The Unknown, We Meet Again

I was recently laid off from my job, which created stability in my life. At the same time, I found that I have been hiding behind this job, in other words, I have been using it to hold me back from my true path. From putting yoga as my number one priority and sharing that and all that I have to offer with the world. It has kept me in a bubble where I’m playing it safe, playing small. That cliche phrase comes to mind, everything happens for a reason and I believe stepping into my power is the reason.

I feel like I am being nudged to put more effort into what I do, yoga and energy work. To really step into that role I have visualized is foreign to me. It’s not something I do often, put myself out there for the world to judge, critique, and or admire/respect me. But there are a lot of different elements that come up when taking on this responsibility. Having the ability to be vulnerable is huge while incorporating self-compassion, neutrality, and last but not least having humility are some of the core elements that pop up while traversing through this unknown journey. That is currently my life.

Being vulnerable means that you have to put yourself out there regardless of what others think of you. Other people’s perspectives do not have a place when you are claiming your role in any area of your life. Keeping in mind that people will always have their own point of view but that should not affect your actions in moving forward. I am currently just starting to make more of a presence, all while feeling uncomfortable but still coming out on the other side. Like hey, everything is still ok, I’m still alive, thankfully those feelings don’t last forever. I keep telling myself that, the more I keep doing it, the less icky it will feel.

Self-compassion is another key quality to have on this journey. Knowing that failure is inevitable is something we should all come to peace with. I won’t always do what is best and what is right and as hard as I am on myself, creating that space where I don’t self-blame and begin the pity party. I can be one to dwell on things and hold on and this is giving me good practice to accept things I can not control. I am beginning to practice along with this receiving failure in a lighthearted manner, again it’s not easy but it brings me back to this game called Life we are here to play. Seeing life as a child, with an open mind, and not taking everything so seriously.

Being able to hold a space of neutrality is important and follows self-compassion. In order to be in a neutral headspace, we have to have some sense of self-compassion. That self-love creates a great foundation for being ok with the outcome. Self-compassion/self-love organically leads to being gentle with yourself and knowing that maybe sometimes our learning will take a couple of times until we can master a life skill and or lesson, and being neutral with the outcome. In this case, the outcome of putting yourself out there can only teach us how to refine our presentation. The idea of neutrality is being able to dissolve the expectations, being ok with whatever arises and having the humility to embrace a great outcome.

Humility is a great teacher. Have you ever noticed that you begin to slack off a little after receiving positive feedback/praise? Humility has a funny way of letting us know that’s not quite the case. I’m sure being in any field where you are around a lot of people exposes you to compliments and praise. But having the ability to receive compliments and at the same time not let them get to your head. The ego loves compliments and praise and this can be a slippery slope for some of us teachers to get stuck in, meanwhile closing off those compliments we don’t like BUT we do need to work on. I think humility sets everybody apart, just look at the different celebrities that are out there.

In one hand we are encouraged and prompted to put ourselves out there, to show our unique approach not only yoga but on anything we are passionate about and on the other hand, our responsibility is to navigate through this journey of integrity, love, compassion, vulnerability, confidence, softness, neutrality, and humility. We learn to create a healthy balance of it all. Welcoming the scary unknown and all of the elements that come with it.

Responsibility What’s That

Before becoming a yoga instructor, I noticed how impactful teachers are and can be to others. What led me to yoga initially was the mindfulness and philosophy aspects and then it opened up to how my body could benefit from it. Back then I read a lot of self-help books that instilled developing a broader perspective and how life isn’t just a bunch of mistakes. I was drawn to the esoteric world at a very young age. I guess it is in part because I was exposed to it with my grandmother, who was in a sense a curandera. I remember she used to cure me of the evil eye with a raw egg, fan parsley over my body, and always have a home remedy for everything. As a child I used to get annoyed at all of the “crazy” things she used to do. Little did I know how much I would grow to love this about her. But yoga was always an action to me and I got turned off by teachers who pushed their views and ideas onto others. For me I focused on how they showed their yoga through actions, how they exhibited it.

As a yoga teacher, I now have a huge responsibility. When I teach, not only do I make sure I keep bodies safe, but I also have to make sure I don’t push my own views and ideas down peoples throats. Being a yoga teacher comes with a platform for which you are given to communicate the beauty and life of yoga BUT this platform can also get tricky. With this platform comes responsibility and humility. Unfortunately more often than not I feel that this platform gets abused. With the rise of social media and free advertising I’ve seen the ego being the forefront of yoga. The ease of followers like never before, doing just that, people out there following without questioning. Following every word, every routine, diet, and philosophy. I used to work at a yoga studio and I witnessed a lot of this. I saw how people quickly accepted everything that came from their teacher they admired and looked up to. Its understandable, you trust this person, you’ve learned a lot from this person and then suddenly your perspective starts to dim and embody someone else’s. Don’t get it twisted, I am not in the least excluding myself of this. I’ve slipped up in classes too, explaining philosophy can get sticky, teaching with conviction can come off as arrogant and so on. Becoming aware of this is key, almost like when teachers say, “Check your egos at the door”, teachers should do the same.

A big myth people hold true is that yoga teachers have it all together. One can even say, that it’s complicated as a teacher having the “I should’ve known better syndrome.” Yoga teachers are still human with judgments, ideals, perspectives, bad days, crappy attitudes, etc. As a yoga instructor I personally have a big problem with this ongoing urban legend. I am not enlightened, I experience struggles, and I make mistakes too. I want to proclaim this from the tops of the mountains and debunk the myth. I share the good, the bad, and the ugly with people. Life is an ebb and flow, we have highs and lows and I feel like authenticity is important. I feel like we need more of the real, raw, vulnerable aspects because people can relate to that. I try to be as authentic as I can and honestly even writing what “I” do bothers me because that’s not what this is about. This is my opinion, and its ok if others don’t have to agree.

At the end of the day my goal as a teacher is to provoke students to go within, to question everything, take that which resonates and make it your own experience.