How is the technology of yoga assisting in the evolution of human consciousness?
I ask this every day. And then I ask “what part do I play in it all?”.
Because I’m asking these questions, a vision is starting to form. Part of that vision is a collective up-leveling of teachers. I invite you to read through this post and sit with the perspectives and questions. Don’t look for answers, just let the questions open you up to possibility.
Talk your Walk
We are all familiar with the adage “walk your talk” which means that if you talk a lot about ahimsa (non-violence), you should also act in non-violent ways. When you are walking your talk, you are letting the concept teach you how to behave. The talk informs the walk.
Talk your walk, on the other hand, means you honestly speak about your human experience. In this version, the experience teaches you what to speak about. The walk informs the talk. This is an advanced practice as it requires a high level of self awareness and a willingness to be vulnerable. Your life experience and how you BE is much more of a message than the concepts you post and the words that come out of your mouth.
What areas of your life are you not really being vulnerable? Where do you feel more comfortable with conceptual learning instead of experiential?
Harness Popularity for Transformation
Teachers, stop worrying about the numbers and start focusing on how your message serves the whole universe. Not in a pressurized way, but in a way that calls forward your greatness. Instead of getting caught in the orgasmic high of forty pairs of ears and eyes on you, ask WHY you have forty pairs of eyes on you. The answer isn’t “because it’s 5:30pm and I have sexy abs”, the answer is going to come from your wisdom.
Is your message on your website, or is your message in your cells? What are you REALLY teaching? What are you REALLY learning?
You are a Human, Not an Image
I live in Boulder, CO where you could throw a shoe and hit a yoga teacher. We are blessed to have an abundance of yogis, and highly talented ones at that. Because of this, there are a lot of images being held up. I had a fellow yoga teacher tell me he won’t go to a public class because he feels obligated to do handstands if he does. Another teacher told me that she was considering a local teacher training, but decided not to do it because she might expose some parts of self. Last time I checked, there isn’t yoga paparazzi. Just because you did a yoga teacher training or two does not mean you do not have problems. In fact, you probably have more problems now than you did when you were just a yoga student. Mostly because you are making up all this crap about being a big deal. Just be you. When you are angry, love your anger. When you are happy, love your happy. When you are tired, go to sleep. You aren’t alone, it’s okay to talk to each other. We are not competing, we are collaborating. Let’s drop the self-serving image maintenance and remember that YOGA is bigger than selfies.
What stories about how yoga teachers should be are you attempting to live into? How is this story about “yoga teacher” serving your growth? How is this story about “yoga teacher” hindering your growth?
Take Responsibility for Your Feelings
I stopped reading yoga blogs for a while. I was ill from all the crap about what is “wrong” with yoga and I couldn’t read another intellectualized complaint. The fact is yoga is diversifying. Diversity is not a threat, it’s actually part of the point of life here on Earth. No more blaming trends, companies and types of yoga for your feelings. Own your feelings, take back your power. Feelings are allowed here on Earth. Isn’t that what we teach?
Instead of getting your Iyengar panties in a bunch around what you think is “wrong with yoga” can you take action? If you have an issue with commercialism or heated yoga or men wearing tights, that issue is your teacher. What button is being triggered in you? How can you dive deeper into the practice of love?
Know What it Means to Be a Leader
Having thousands of followers is fruitless if the followers are dependent on you. Creating thousands of other leaders is much more powerful than having a flock. Empower your students to ask questions by presenting them with things worth questioning. Instead of just saying “come chat after class”, give them a specific subject, ask a question, or offer a challenge.
Let’s up-level our questions, not because we want answers, but because questions open us up.