Confession: I'm A Yoga Teacher But...
First, let's drop the stereotypical 'yoga teacher' out the door.
I come across the odd person that has the strong belief that any spiritual practitioner, must lead a spiritual life. On behalf of yoga teachers, I argue against that. We are human too, and I think thats what makes me able to teach from a place of authenticity. Although my problems are different then others, the problem itself is universal. I can relate to my students because I know how it is when you can't pay your bills, have problems in your relationships, or can't stop your mind from shutting up so you can just breathe.
There are so many assumptions that I get just because I'm into yoga, so let's debunk some of these one-by-one. Note that I'm not speaking to all yoga teachers, although I'm sure a majority can agree with the following.
1. I am NOT a vegan. For the most part I am a vegetarian, by way of growing up. I eat meat sometimes (hardly ever red meat, unless its bacon... because when it comes to bacon I have no willpower). I also prefer a gluten free lifestyle, although I'm still looking for my perfect fit bread.
2. I can NOT do every yoga pose. Please don't compare me to other teachers who pretzel themselves. I'm not that kind of teacher, and yoga is so much more than asana. At the end of the day, I am human just like you and my body is different just like yours, and thats beautiful and perfect.
3. I don't know everything about Yoga. Do you know how much about yoga there is to learn? They say it's a life long practice for a reason. I am a student of life, constantly learning and evolving my practice and my teachings. What I do know is how to teach yoga from my years of experience of how it has helped me personally.
4. I'm not just a teacher. I am also the student. One: as much as I am the teacher, guiding my students to practice what I'm teaching, I'm also showing up as the student to practice what I'm teaching. I learn so I can teach my students, and I teach to learn from my students. Two: sometimes it's hard to stay inspired, so I do take classes at least 4-5 days a week. It's very easy once a teacher starts teaching, that they lose their personal practice. In all honesty that was something that I struggled with for years. Once I got back into it, it was like coming home. And almost silly that I stepped away from my mat for so long. I always say that the hardest part is showing up, and you won't regret it once you do.
5. Meditation is challenging. Just like savasana, sometimes being still I find difficult. My meditation doesn't look like me sitting on a cushion, my meditation looks like cleaning or organizing my week. I find clarity in order, cleanliness and decluttering. Let me tell you a little somethin' somethin' about decluttering... my teacher Amba once shared with my teaching community that, "The only things you should have in your living space is whats relevant." This means getting rid of the old, the used or the irrelevant. Simplicity is key here, and is a great break for our brains from all the stimulation around us. Point being, find your own meditation. It doesn't have to look like churning on a cushion or chanting to Ganesh... maybe its art or nature, or taking care of your kids. What ever brings you into your own element, is your outlet for meditating.
6. I don't wear yoga pants everyday. Yes the career that I am shaping right now is in Yoga Education, which means my work gear involves a lot of leggings and sports bras. I do have a personal life, and I do get invited to fancy shmancy places, which means I do have a wardrobe outside of yoga. I love dressing up when I have the opportunity.
Even if you're not a teacher, maybe you're a dedicated yogi that can relate to the above. To me, being spiritual sometimes means being the first to admit you don't have it all together. We are all a work in progress and it's freeing to accept the humanity of it all. I think it's important to be authentic, real, raw and genuine. That's where the real spirituality happens.