Things yoga teachers are dying to tell you (but never do unless they are me ;-)
|October 3, 2013||Posted by Jean Hoiland under Jean Hoiland, Uncategorized||
Today I came across an article on Elephant Journal that left me howling with laughter. It pokes lighthearted fun at some of the things yoga teachers and students are thinking. Well it got me thinking of my perspective as a teacher toward all the many lovable, wonderful, weird, wacky, endearing and likeable people who attend my classes.
Here is my sometimes and somewhat distorted take from business owner/teacher perspective.
“I don’t want your adulation. Just show up on time, stay focused and I’ll try not to offend you.”
Some days I would rather be doing something else. My aura might be sportin’ a drab shade of grey and the thought of one more surya namaskara leaves me wishing I was in Aruba holding a drink with a colorful umbrella. Then you all begin to show up, eager to find ease and comfort for whatever ails you. I watch your tension, stress and discomfort melt away and I am reminded why I continue to teach and why I love it and all of you.
But there are days when my game is anything but “A”. It’s hard to create a brilliant class day in and day out. Yet even my less than stellar classes receive praises of gratitude. Wow, that is so kind, but really, be honest, I can take it. I saw you limping out of class.
I admit it, I’m not always prepared. Sometimes, a lot of times, I just wing it. Wow that was liberating. My throat chakra opened right up, guess it works. Speak the truth.
By the time Friday 9:30am class arrives, you are fondly calling my class “Testy Friday” or a little kinder “Feisty Friday’s”. Excuse me but my life force is zapped, my heart chakra depleted and my bank account manifesting zippo, zero, nadda. I mutter and grumble, snap at a few of you and then we share a good laugh and life is good again.
Until Monday when the 8am-ers arrive. Ceaseless chatter and socializing echo through the whole damn building at decibels louder than the Seahawks 12th Man at Century Link Stadium. I’ve yet to figure out how to wrangle this group in. I just scratch my head and wonder, how is it they don’t see the sign? It’s at eye level for cryin’ out loud, right on the door as you walk in, large letters, clearly stating “Quiet Please. Turn off your phones”. There use to be another sign asking/pleading for help to preserve a quiet sanctuary. It was up for what seemed like forever. I finally took it down. I like the energy, the people, the socializing. What can I say I have no control and if you don’t like it there is probably another Hot Yoga studio opening up right next to the Bikram studio, but don’t drink the Kool-Aid people.
What about the novel concept of a schedule with class start times? I might not make a big deal about it but it bugs me, it really does. I may act all yogi and chill about it but secretly I am wondering how you manage to hold down a job. You know who I mean. Hey I’m sure I’m not the only one who notices. Consider the person who was all set up, comfortable, quiet and ready then about five minutes into opening relaxation/meditation just as we are getting our zen on the late arrival shows up slapping the mat to the floor and dropping the blocks. I’m just sayin’.
Look, I don’t have a magic wand. I cannot fix you. I am a mere yoga instructor, I listen to Kirtan music by people with names like Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Sanatam Kaur Kalsa and Deva Premal. I dream about one day billing your insurance for my services, cause I am sick and tired of hearing how expensive yoga is. What’s your Starbucks budget by the way, may I ask? Did you know coffee causes inflammation? News flash! Your ailments will not be resolved in one class, one week or even a month or year, especially if you only practice intermittently. It’s been how long since that car accident? and you are just now realizing you might have to do something about it.
Yeah…. those toes ain’t gettin’ any closer just sitting on the sofa folks. Pay attention, focus and do it how I tell you to do it. Then go home and practice. Dump that nasty little ego that keeps overriding my expert instruction. Stop forcing it, you’re prime movers can’t extend your knee if they are constantly being antagonized. I’ve been practicing a long time and my hamstrings still feel tight, especially after sittin’ on my ass writing these silly blog post.
Did you ever contemplate that I have been letting you use my mats free of charge? Other studio’s charge a rental fee; don’t expect me to clean them too. That’s your job. It’s called a mutual exchange of energy. Did I say free of charge? Cleaner and towels are located on the window ledges. I don’t really care if you clean them. I have my own mat.
What about towels, don’t you think it might be a good idea to bring one, and for heavens sake quit asking me to turn the heat down. A little sweat will cleanse your pours and give you a little glow for a few hours. You’ll look marvelous and be rockin’ your sacral chakra…trust me.
Which brings up one more thing it’s not hot. Hot is 105 degrees with 50% humidity and an inexperienced instructor bellowing for you to push through the pain. There is absolutely nothing hot about our studio, I’m lucky if I can maintain a balmy 70 degrees. For goodness sake do NOT open the windows; it’s barely above freezing outside. If you don’t mind I’d like you to close the door too, or perhaps you’d like to take over the utility bills. I long for the days when the room hovered at 85 degrees. That is the perfect temperature for yoga. The only problem was watching all my Andrew Jackson’s float out the window because someone got too hot. Do you have any concept how disturbing that is to my root chakra?
Did I mention I have absolutely zero control over my members? I wonder how that is effecting my solar plexis, hmmm?
For those of you who scanned to the bottom of this article, let me summarize …I occasionally make things up, your tardiness fries my circuits, I ain’t a miracle worker, you need to practice more than once a year, quit your whining about the heat, bring a towel, calm your mind, focus your breath and be one with the universe. OM Shanti, Shanti, OM
Namaste my friend…Namaste