Your yoga teacher is not your guru
If you haven’t watched Kumaré yet, it’s about time. This is hands down one of the best documentaries of our time.
There is a number of reasons for people to go to yoga classes. Some do it to exercise, some to get a good stretch, some for the spiritual benefits, others to reduce stress, some to feel part of a community and some possibly for all of those reasons. The list goes on. I love meeting new people and I also love my dedicated students, so wether you’re coming to my classes, workshops or retreats, I am honored and grateful to have you share your time with me and I am thrilled I can share some of my knowledge with you.
In my bio I state that one must always stay a student and I truly emphasize this. Unless you’re Gandhi, the odds are you’re not an enlightened being just yet. That being said, the fact that you are practicing yoga and the fact that you want to become more connected with yourself and your surrounding world is an amazing first step towards the right direction and something worth celebrating. What is key to understand though is that yoga teachers don’t have it all figured out (hell nah!!). Sometimes actually they might even have more issues than the average Joe and this is what perhaps initially led them to yoga (take this with a grain of salt). So to fully lean on them with your problems and expect them to have solutions is not the best idea. I guess this must be why now they don’t really allow the terminology of “Yoga Therapy”. See, we yoga teachers are just as messed up as you. We get down on ourselves, fuck up and get lost in life. I guess the big difference from the average non yogi is that even though we also fuck up, we MIGHT (caps lock here) be more aware of it and we more importantly might be working on changing that behavior. And yoga can be an excellent tool to become more aware, awake and in tune with yourself. I can truly say that thanks to the world of yoga and its broad field of teachings, I am becoming more aware of my own patterns and issues. And recognition is a hella good first step in this long journey towards a better version of me. Cuz at the end, that’s what a lot of us want, to grow, to learn and to connect.
Unfortunately we live in a time where people are getting sick. Sick and tired of being sick and tired. Sick from working too much, sick from stress and unrealistic expectations. This sickness and tiredness leads to us feeling stuck and unaccomplished and very often lost. Are we on our right paths? Are we doing what we are supposed to be doing? Perhaps we feel like we need a change but are just too tired, too exhausted and blocked from finding the solutions ourselves. Add some relationship issues or a broken marriage and bam! You’re open AF to having someone else steer your ship and take control. This is of course is okay if that person is a) your therapist or b) actually knows what the best solutions for you are and c) truly has your best interest in mind and works from the goodness of their heart and not for a financial gain. Don’t get me wrong, guidance and mentoring is not wrong and even in yogic philosophy we are taught that once the student is ready, the master will come. But the thing is, you are the master and you will always be your own guru. You hold all the answers to all your problems and what a teacher or a guide can do is, to aid you to see that, but at the end of the day, YOU are the guru. And this is super important to assimilate. The same thing goes for your asana practice on your mat. If something does not feel good in your body but the teacher is telling you to do it, hell nah! Get outta that pose! You know the best what feels food and what works for your god given temple, never forget that. And as a teacher I am only here to give you ideas and suggestions on how to move. If it does not feel good for you, if it doesn’t relate to you, you are more than welcome to skip.
To close the circle I want to say that you can learn a lot from your yoga teacher and they can serve as an excellent guide on your journey, but always remember that you are the captain and you navigate the ship, even if your teacher can sometimes work as the compass on giving you some direction on where to go. I am blessed and grateful to be sharing my teachings and what I’ve learned, but boy, I am still and I will always remain a student.