Real Life: Yoga Practice, Not Yoga Perfect
This post was supposed to be my favourite restorative poses to do with the Yoga Bolster, however, I didn't get the photo's all done for the poses... nobody's perfect right???
Let's talk about that for a minute. As a Yoga Instructor there are some real, and perhaps imagined, expectations that are placed on me, either by students, other teachers or myself. I got to thinking about this when I found myself in my car shouting at another driver (all windows closed of course) and feeling slightly road rage-y. I thought, I am a Yoga Teacher, I should really be better than this. This is not in line with Yoga values. Well guess what?! The very next day I'm pretty sure the entire situation played over again - shouting in my car, feeling bad about it, scolding myself for not being better. This is just one example of an expectation that I have put on myself, but what about expectations others may have?? Some examples that I have heard of or have experienced include:
"I thought I saw you in your car, but the person I saw was eating chips so I thought it couldn't have been you"
(This happened to another teacher I know....Just so you know, I eat chips and love them)
"You must be vegetarian"
(I eat all types of meat)
"You must be pretty calm and zen all the time"
(Yells at people in the car on the reg')
So, why am I telling you my dirty little meat eating, road rage secret? To let you know that it's a Yoga Practice, not Yoga Perfect. You don't have to get it all right, all the time or even some of the time, and do not expect your teacher to. Do not put a teacher on a pedestal - that leads to all sorts of problems - they are human just as you are, so when they are at the front of the class talking about presence, or gratitude, maybe it's as much of a reminder for themselves as it is for the class. It doesn't mean someone is a "bad yogi" - at least in my humble opinion, it means they are human. It certainly shouldn't mean that you think less of them as a teacher or student (or that they should think less of themselves). So, next time I find myself shouting at another driver, I will continue to practice mindfulness by recognizing the behaviour and feeling and then maybe, someday, I may be able to drive around Winnipeg only raising my voice to sing loudly in my car.
Have you ever had an experience where you felt there were expectations placed on you, by others or yourself? Do you have expectations of your yoga teachers?