It’s NOT personal!

November 9, 2011 1:26 am Published by

My confidence and inspiration has been lacking in the last couple of weeks and in true ‘Laura’ style I have been massively beating myself up about it, don’t we all! I suppose one thing I did not realise when I began my quest to teach/lead/instruct yoga is how personal it would be become and how much energy not only muscle but mental and spiritual too it would require from me. Don’t get me wrong its also what I love most about it! Every class I teach I want to be a journey and I want every person in that class to experience that journey and to take that and make it their own, that in itself is mind shattering and ‘I know’ a lot of pressure to put on myself and anyone!

I read an awesome Yogini friend of mines recent post on her very awesome blog Freedom Yoga and i’m sure she wont mind me referring to it as a few things started to ring some yogi bells….. When I attend yoga classes, I want as many different influences and teachers that I can find, do we not all want that from life?? How boring and naive would we be to believe and live our lives by one persons beliefs, thoughts and rules!! On the other hand as in life a yoga class is a personal choice and as yoga has now become as diverse now as perhaps genres of music; we all know what we like and what we don’t. I would never want anyone to have to chose one particular way to live or force anyone into one particular style of yoga class, but I do just think that until that friend brings you round that copied CD for you to listen to, how do you make the choice to like or dislike or ever discover something new!!

Covering another yoga teachers class is a wonderful opportunity to learn, develop and grow as a teacher and I think a great way to spread yoga’s diverse love. As my gorgeous Freedom Yogini blogs, she was asked to cover a class and not met with the nicest energy to say the least, strangely I had the same experience at a class I covered for a teacher on Monday night at a gym, with one lady walking out after 10 minutes, after tutting with a face like thunder “what is that noise!! Is it you or is that music playing?!?!?” I continued to teach the class and it ended up being a beautiful class, but I couldn’t help but come home and beat myself up about it a little. I know that it wasn’t a personal dig at me as a person, but it is definately disheartening when you love something you want everyone to feel the power of that yoga love!! It is not personal and if not everyone likes to live by “variety is the spice of life” then you can only hope they find joy, balance and harmony in other areas of their life. As that one lady chose it was not the style of class that she wanted on that Monday evening and I suppose I have to be bold enough to make the same choice and say…. this is my style of class, flow, I like to get the breath flowing, the energy flowing and I have worked hard with passion and love to develop it. Not everyone has to share my passion or taste and they have the choice to not take my classes. As freedom yogini pefectly quotes “Like dance there are so many different kinds of yoga. You don’t go to a street dance class and complain it should be more balletic!” Every persons teaching style will vary… Obviously this is difficult when you are covering someones class on a random occasion as the participants then don’t always have a choice, when a new teacher walks through the studio door, but if you don’t give something or someone a go or a chance how will you ever know what wonders perhaps lie infront of you!

I also teach a class on a regular basis (and please do not think this is a moan post about my students, just observations that my journey is throwing at me) where there is a student that comes regularly and during the class will just go into her own flows, not following my instruction, to begin with this did throw me a little and I did question why she came to me class and did not just practice in a quiet space at home or in the gym. When I then thought about it more, a yoga class is your practice, a teacher is simply there to guide you, I would never profess to ‘know it all’ or by able to ‘do it all’. That yogi has paid to come to class and is entitled to do as she pleases, within reason of course and she may just like the peaceful energy that my classes exude even if she doesn’t like all my flows. If it gives her the perfect space to move, flow and explore her body and that is enough for me. 

Yoga teaches us to explore, question, challenge ourselves and ultimately live in harmony with our bodies and mind and then hopefully allowing us to spill this harmony from our mat out into the world. Im learning all of this in the beauty that is yoga and if I can even help someone come anywhere close to that in my class, then i’m doing ok and if you don’t find that in my class, go searching, you owe it to yourself!!!

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This post was written by Laura Avery