This blog includes reflections, creative work and resources. It is a glimpse of one person's journey within the realm of inquiry, experience with the human body and spirit. Look for ideas rather than answers. No claims are made. Perfection is not implied. I write as inspired to do so. Take what works for you, leave the rest. If you share anything from this blog, either verbally or in writing, please do your best to give credit where credit is due. Thank you for visiting.
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Perceived flaws of yoga teachers, healers, etc.
I admit to having the judgmental attitude in the past regarding what I thought a yoga teacher should look like in terms of personality and how their personal life should function. I've moved beyond judging and recognize to hold such a false illusion is a stumbling block. Besides, I'm a pot and who am I to call the kettle black?
First: the shoemaker's kids without shoes. Perhaps the shoemaker became the shoemaker in town because he had to make so many shoes for his own kids and simply it became his path. I can speak for myself when I say it was (& is) the anxiety-depression fluctuations that led me to find yoga, meditation and breathwork. [Several years earlier a car accident resulted in my trying massage for the first time which was the only modality to take the back pain away. Within a month I was in massage therapy training.] Sure, I still have a certain level of social anxiety as an introvert which seems contradictory to the fact that public speaking has become more comfortable. Should one stop teaching because of the things they're working on?
Second, the 8-limbs of yoga all the way up through asana, pranayama, sense withdrawal, concentration and meditation are techniques. There is a teacher for everyone. Some hear and learn through imagery-based language from the saint-like. Some students can only hear and learn from, shall we say, the Henry Rollins of yoga instructors: passionate, out spoken, direct, idealistic.
Third: tossing the baby out with the bathwater. In the mid-90's, I shared the task of picking up a world-known healer at the airport so he could present at the A.R.E. the next day. From the videos and books I knew him as compassionate and present. Behind the scenes he was more withdrawn and even a bit grumpy. But he was being human. A human tired from long travel, hitting a wall of heat and humidity walking out of the airport. This saying comes to mind: a spiritual being having a human experience. This is true for all!
Fourth, the expectations and pace of modern life should not be disregarded. Sure, we're not out in the fields growing our own food but those of us doing our best to offer teachings and healing we are not living cloistered away like monks or nuns. Most of us are householders and probably have other work responsibilities. If not married or have children, we have day jobs, mortgages, aging parents, a car in the shop or a rescued puppy being house trained. Be grateful your teacher or healer understands something about your life. Sure, it is a pleasure to learn and grow under the guidance of one who devotes their entire life to the practice. But how accessible is he or she geographically, economically and logistically?
Certainly we want healers and teachers to be appropriate, responsible and on-the-path. In my experience those of us who are practicing and presenting are vigilant with self-inquiry. Choose wisely, go for the best fit. It's all good. Find a teacher who cares about what they're doing.