Every person who walks through the door of my studio and steps onto their mat, including myself, is battling something. For some it may be something that happened that day, a mind FULL of distractions and for others, it might be a silent living hell. Just to get through the day can be difficult at times, let alone, step onto a mat and practice yoga.
When I first became a teacher, like everyone else, all I had to go on was my experience as a student in other classes. I had studied with many different teachers and many different styles. When I started teaching, I carefully planned my classes, sequences, music and even wrote out meditations. As I continued to grow and develop, I quickly realized that not only was I a yoga teacher, but a channel for healing things I never imagined. For the most part I never really know what is going on with a student other than physically. But what I learned is that we are all dealing with some really heavy shit! (Excuse the language, but no other way to say it!) So as a teacher it became more about making each person feel, even if only for the hour or so, a bit more whole. Hoping that they would return to their practice for the sheer fact that they felt better in their heart.
Classes became less about a complicated philosophy and more about the oneness that lives in our hearts. It became less about someone taking their socks off and more about, learning that maybe socks make them feel more secure. It become more about having an open and comfortable space for self-discovery. Putting pressure on ourselves to be a certain way in yoga, is defeating the purpose. We have way too many pressures and serious stuff in our daily lives, so why, in a practice that opens us up to self-discovery and letting go, would we want to add more pressure.
Yogi Tim (many of you know him) said to me the other day, "You know what? Yoga is about me being honest with myself." Such a simple statement and so profound. On our mat, we open up to honesty. Uncovering our true self. Yoga is not about the show or competition. It's not even really about getting physical. It's about what the physical practice uncovers. The honesty~
I love that one of my students wears a shirt that says, "I'm only here for the savasana!" Aren't we all?!
My final thought is this. Life is serious enough! Your practice is your time to unplug from all the serious distractions and reconnect to yourself!