Keeping It Real

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How could I grow as a person
if there were never any challenges?

How would I know what abundance is
if I never knew scarcity?

I spent a long time thinking
I’m not a very good yoga teacher
because I let myself get stressed,
upset, angry…
I saw myself being envious, competitive
grasping, holding on
My depression was some kind of failure,
and so was not having enough energy
to keep the house shining clean.

And then one day it hit me…
Yes, I’m a yoga teacher,
but I’m also a human being.

Without my real human challenges,
without my pain and sorrow and suffering–
without the regret, the anger,
the resentment, the fear,
the struggle–
how could peace mean anything at all?

It is precisely because I’ve been to hell and back
that I can see the heaven on this earth
And because I have chosen to look at my own suffering
I can hold the suffering of others in my heart
and feel sincere compassion for them.

All of those shadow feelings
I thought I shouldn’t be having
were actually my greatest teachers.
They dug a great hole in me,
opened me up to receive the beauty
of existence.

I don’t need to pretend I’m someone I’m not
I don’t need to hide my humanness
and try to be who I think I should be for my students.

Now I can meet all of my feelings
with open arms,
really welcome every one…
and rest in the certainty
that my willingness to be authentic
at the core of my being,
and my wish to share
genuine connection with others
keeps my yoga real–
as it always was,
and ever will be.

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10 responses »

  1. You are a great yoga teacher because you let yourself get worried and stressed. All the mediocre ones couldn’t give a flip and just rely on their playlist. Just teach your students what you are trying to teach yourself.

    • Thank you so much YogiBattle for your encouragement. And wise words: “…teach your students what you are trying to teach yourself.” Yes, teach what you know. This is so important, if we are going to be authentic.

    • Thank you Elysha! Yes, it’s funny how I can get caught up in illusion, and really believe it…and then there is a moment of grace, and I wake up, and it’s all yoga, all an opportunity to be present, to be awake.

  2. “I don’t need to pretend I’m someone I’m not
    I don’t need to hide my humanness
    and try to be who I think I should be”
    Gosh, the everlasting struggle, which includes trying to learn who this human self is, let alone the Self beyond!

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