Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the benefits of my practice and my teaching. Many have already heard the story about my very first yoga class. Baggy sweats…oversized tee…socks! And, those sun salutations! Torture!
It’s my fault for walking into a level 2-3 class.
I came to yoga to loose weight and help my knees. I was resigned to be a BBW for life and just wanted to be a healthy size 14. The weight came off when I wasn’t paying attention and my ACL-less knees work better than before. But, the biggest benefit I’ve gotten in the practice is dealing with my own bullshit.
Since I’ve started teaching, I’ve had some interesting experiences. One of the greatest lesson from teaching is that I know that what comes up in the class comes from within—each of us. I’m not creating what comes up. Now, I’m not saying that I lack ego…it’s just not present in my yoga-teaching or practice. The good, the bad and the ugly that happen are outside of me and I’m there to help create a safe space for it to exist.
I overheard my grandfather tell someone, “don’t let them hand you shit and tell you it’s chocolate”
Can’t be more direct than that!
This picture from designboom.com just sums it up for me.
How often do we sling our own bullshit, ego, etc at someone else and expect them to receive it as chocolate, love, or compassion?
As a student, I find myself looking around the room occasionally. I know, I know…I’m supposed to be SO focused that the rest of the world disappears. Yeah well, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. So, when I’m looking around the room, especially in level 3-4 classes, I’m surprised by amount of ego on the mat but love the earnest effort. People yank their legs into full lotus, strain tendons to get that bind and other very painful looking things. I try to remind students, when I teach, that everything takes time. There is no magic pill for anything, especially yoga.
One of the greatest gifts yoga has given me is a little more patience. Take it all one day, one breath, one millimeter at a time. My ego, my bullshit, has to step aside for that to happen.