So my adventures in yoga were particularly interesting over the past few weeks-so much drama! I worked in the corporate world for a number of years before I left for what I percieved to be greener pastures…they are not greener but they are in deed fuller, deeper and far more rewarding. I have come to understand that there is more drama and politics in the business of yoga then there ever was in corporate Canada…why is that?
I had the opportunity the weekend of the Vernal Equinox to practice one of my most favourite teachers in Detroit. I am an Anusara Inspired Yoga Teacher and my guru is John Friend. He was in Detroit for the Vernal Equinox weekend. I let go of all my expectations for myself and my practice and rode the wave of the workshop. The energy was big and blissful and the practice was full of love for me. I was honoured by my teacher in front of a large group of my peers which included my students and my ego soared. It doesn’t help that I liked all the attention. At this workshop I was so in love with everyone and everything. I had to keep myself in check…I must not start thinking that I was any better then anyone else. My ego was soaring but I had to be careful about the intent…My friend Karen is always calling me on it..Thanks Karen!
It has been a hard few weeks for me. Lots of family drama, studio drama and of course yoga drama. All this drama has given a lot of time for personal reflection and growth. My dear friend, my teacher and mentor moved away from the path of Anusara to explore a different path to pursue her own heart. Her exit was surrounded with a lot of drama and hurt feelings which got me to thinking…how do I explain yoga drama to my students. Here are my thoughts (in my arrogant opinion)
People who choose to become a yoga teacher as their profession do so because they are very passionate about what they believe . Their path they have travelled has lead them to teach. Yoga has transformed their lives in such a way that it has become a part of them. Their expereince has become bigger then their practice. As a yoga teacher it is easy to get your ego stroked because yoga makes us feel better and those feelings become attached to you the teacher and not to the teachings. As a teacher your students are always coming up to you, thanking you, and telling you how great you are…you start to crave that attention. I know that I do and when I don’t get it I am unsure of myself. We take the practice personally and we want to serve in the greatest capacity. It is important to look at the practice as a whole…have we done a good job of delivering the teachings?
The difference between a conventional job and choosing yoga as a profession is that yoga can become a part of who you are and connect to you in a very meaningful and spiritual way. We live our yoga. We may not live our job. Our job may simply be a means to an ends. There is more detachment with a conventional job. So when someone attacks, or says something contrary, to something you hold true in your heart and is a part of you..as human beings we can be reactive. We are so passionate in our beliefs that we let our ego get the better of us. It has happened to the best of us. We become either hurt or angry and voice our opinions loudly and more boldly and then the drama starts as we react to others and others react around us. Feelings bubble to the surface, old wounds begin to open and the situation becomes very dramatic… Our egos get bruised, we say hurtful things and yoga drama begins…it is the human condition.
In my experience it is important to remember that the ego is not a bad thing. The ego is a basic part of who we are and it cannot be forgotten or set aside, but it must be managed. Being egotistical is very different then having a big ego. The difference is how you use your ego to serve. I have my heart broken regularly. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I try to serve everyone in my greatest capacity. It is exhausting and some people choose to use my generosity and kindness to serve themselves. I have to believe that this still serves the greater good. I invite you to explore your ego and figure out how you can best serve those around you without becoming full of yourself… it is hard to do!
When I lose my way….I try to remember this…
By cultivating attitudes of friendliness towards the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and disregard toward the wicked, the mind stuff retains its undisturbed calmness.~Patanjali