No sooner had I come back from running a yoga holiday in France, I see myself prepping and then delivering the remaining 4 days of our Ambassador Teacher Training Intensive.
I always find it interesting that so many people get drawn in by the selfies and amazing photographs of yoga teachers around the world, that are incredibly aesthetically pleasing to the eye. I do find the human body fascinating and hence such photographs and videos are inspiring to watch.
As a teacher, I wonder if such images inspire or deflate. Whilst I find them inspiring, I can appreciate how it can put people off from trying yoga. It is not uncommon for people to say that they need to get fit or flexible before they come to yoga. Or, that they cannot do yoga because they are not flexible. Do these images exacerbate these concerns?
And, what of the millions of “bodies” all over the world who practice yoga? Different shapes, sizes, abilities, disabilities? Whilst I personally find a slender, strong, flexible body more pleasing, I find images and videos of individuals who are at the opposite end of the spectrum more inspiring. A handstand is not easy, by any means, let alone if your body is not biomechanically efficient. Just writing that brings to mind the bumble bee, who in theory should not be able to fly, and yet it does. It just works differently to what is expected.
That is why I believe it is important to find your own yoga path. We are all different. I will admit that as a teacher I feel pressure to be able to do all the poses; the challenging poses that people see on images and vides on social media.
I worried that I would be seen as a fraud because I could not do a handstand in the centre of the room. Having just completed our Ambassador Teacher Training a few days ago, I do find that many teacher training students suffer the same distorted thinking. Yoga is many things to many people, but ultimately, the main objective is to quiet the mind. Some find solace by balancing on their hands, others sitting on a cushion. The method varies from one person to the next, and that is the beauty of yoga; that we are blessed to have so many options of getting to the goal.
So, what is right for other teachers (social media publicity, or not), what is their path, is not necessarily mine. Our journeys are our own to take, and each will be unique. We are all on our own path; we are all practicing “My Kind of Yoga“.
If we live from a place of comparison we limit our own potential.
If we live from a place of compassion and an open heart, we allow ourselves to be who we truly are, and the possibilities are endless.
“Be Yourself. Everyone else is taken.” Oscar Wilde
Be inspired by your own true self.
No matter how successful or talented others in your field may be, they will never be you.