What is Yoga 308

Life is a constant struggle of balancing our body on both a physical and emotional side. Through yoga I have learned several life lessons. Yoga 308 is a goal I set for myself to do at least 60 minutes of yoga for 6 days a week for the next year. I invite anyone to join me on this adventure as I blog about some of my daily experiences. This is not intended to show that I have found peace and tranquility, but rather give my honest feelings of my journey. Enjoy.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 118 - Instructing or Preaching

This morning I was back in a hot yoga flow class at Orlando Power yoga.  I feel very comfortable in these flow classes.  Maybe too comfortable.

I was thinking a lot today about the seeking of "the answers."  About 10 years ago I was fortunate enough to go to one of the Dalia Lama's speeches down in Miami.  There have been quite a few things from his speech that have stuck with me throughout these years.  One of the main things was how he started off the speech.

He expressed how he knew that a lot of people were coming to watch the speech  because they were seeking answers.  They saw him as an all knowing entity that could lead them on their perfect path to enlightenment.  His answer to all of this was that he did not know.  He was only human.  He has such a humble personality in a situation where he can have the biggest ego on earth.

We all need to search for our own answers.  Our answers are not found externally, but rather internally.  We find our answers by experiencing life.  We learn lessons through interacting with other beings.  We grow by looking inside.

I of course am a big pusher of yoga to help dive deeper into my soul.  I am by no means stating it is the only way.  Yoga is what is working for me.  Others might find therapy, meditation, religion, exercise, or what ever it is you find.  This blog however is about my experiences through yoga.

There is a fine line between pushing your beliefs and being your beliefs.  I am now always very cautious that I do not push my beliefs onto others.  I have been around many of these people in my lifetime and know I have also been one of these people, but I am trying hard to rid myself of these practices.

I notice in yoga there are a lot of different types of instructors.  I almost feel that instructors fall in love with yoga so deeply, because it has helped them gain some new insight, or dug them out of some deep hole.  There are instructors out there that loved their practice so much they felt instructing would be great to spread the word.  Become a teacher and try to pass  on the lessons they have learned.  Talking to a lot of insturctors I often find the thing they are working on is often emphasized in their class.  Their insecurities are often what they preach to their students to change.  It is the insecurities they are working on however, and not necessarily the students.

Series yoga such as Ashtanga, Dharma, or Bikram yoga leave less time for the yoga instructor to preach their beliefs.  It is based off a series where the instructor can just bark off the postures and leave the philosophy behind.  The student can then concentrate on their breath, stretching, posture, ect. rather than the core lesson that the instructor may wish the student to discover.  Watch how Pattabhi Jois taught a class.  He really does not have much on "words of wisdom" during his sessions. 

Yoga is about diving deeper inside yourself.  So speeches that may be thought provoking for some may be a distraction for another.  I think one of the biggest issues with becoming an instructor is the belief that once you become an instructor you must become this all knowing guru and teach people the lessons you have learned.  I have seen people embrace this to make them feel more powerful then others.  The Dali Lama taught me that people do not have the answer I am seeking.  I need to discover this myself.  Some of the best classes I have walked out of, the teacher does not say I thing.

As a student who goes to yoga six days a week, I definitely find it hard to look deep inside of me everyday.  I need those western classes that tie personal philosophy into their practice.  I like the distraction from myself.  Many people go to yoga for this external type of enlightenment, but I am pretty sure on my belief that the search for enlightenment can only be found in yoga if you start looking deeper inside yourself.

I have had a great struggle about me teaching yoga.  For years I have seen people who love yoga so much they think the next step is to become a teacher.  I have found my love for yoga is not to get the opportunity to spread the love, but a chance to continue to grow.  Teaching to me would be an avenue to boosting my ego.  I am not looking for an ego.  So many people seem to follow this path.

Maybe I am the only one that thinks this way.  I am sure it is partially a fear on my part.  What do you think?