A life in Yoga is an amazing thing, I can say this with absolute authority!!!!!
Not because I have achieved Samadhi a state of enlightenment or because my SM game is on fleek LOL (pretty sure its not) nor do I have any full expression of any asana.... this stuff is actually irrelevant in the grand scheme of things... (eek!!... I know!!!)
But because rolling out the rubber rectangle, doing & continuing to do a shit tonne of self study & enquiry has made me a happier healthier version of me ... I am more balanced.
I don't live in fear of my anxiety, I know now even though I still have to remind myself sometimes, that, I am enough. Still super duper far from the illusion of perfection or stillness ... hence the perfect business name when you are trying to find me Perfectly Imperfect Yogis!!
I am not sure why I thought that everyone that everyone who rolled out the rubber rectangle and journeyed beyond participant to roamer of rubber rectangles that place of sharing practice was gonna be a sane & balanced, inspiring human? The fact of the matter is we have all been nuts at some point in our lives which is why were were lead to the 8 limbed path of Yoga in the first place.
Cue dream state back ground music........Down the windy dark back alley under the shadows of self enquiry that eventually leads us into the dim light of the waning moon & where we pause to purchase a quartz pendulum for protection & deeper insight..... followed closely by that time post yoga nidra in a dreamy state of bliss where we are abruptly awoken & dumped back in reality by philosophical flash as we realise that Ganesha is just asking us to seek the answers within.... bless, we return to our blissful marshmallowy dreamy state.......
I know that you know that collectively we all know what I mean. Nuts.
Yoga means union or oneness something that every religious & spiritual tradition touches on, words like breath, connection, community, support, kindness, love, light & joy are words that are used frequently about the self & in relation to the part that we play in creating the fabric of the universe. A life in Yoga as a student or sharer of practice yoga asana & philosophy I am on a constant learning journey my students are always my teachers, my life is a dance between reading studying researching enquiring sharing & coaching. Its a process of constant evolution this work is what is creating a better happier healthier version of me where I am connected to my hearts centre my truth & my authentic voice. The voice that is writing this blog.
My life in yoga is also my livelihood. One of my mentors said to me the other day " at this point in your yoga career" I had honestly never thought of myself as having a career in yoga I was just showing up for me & for you. Sharing what I was learning & experiencing, thinking that other yoga curious peeps might benefit from my experiences. Encouraging yogis onto their rubber rectangles one breath at a time.
There is some ego involved of course, I have a social media presence & sometimes get messaged & I bruise, but its not my end game the end game is to encourage people to be the best versions of them selves no matter where they find them selves in yoga -union oneness, balance... I am a passionate (but not dogmatic) trying failing getting back up implementing A Life In Yoga for realz & its a WIP every single day.
Everybody's truth is different everbody's life in yoga is different however in the past few months my experience that people may wear the expensive pretty pants but they are definitely not living a life in yoga....
So one day when I was being a judgey wudgey bear I was like dude ... talking to myself obvs....there are fauxgis living lives of fauxga. Let me explain.
Fauxgi - person who has been to a YTT connected to the spiritual content, found their vagina gone vegan for month, pierced something, worn the bindi, done all the I's in the Eat Pray Loves, returned from the YTT Land Of Oz - to their life for reals and totes forget how to integrate any of the learnings ... except the part where they wear the pants & do yoga for the gram.
Fauxga - fake life in yoga- a fauxgi having every one believe that they are in fact living a life in yoga when in fact they are living a life in Egypt..... by the river DeNile
You know the ones I mean let me run you through a few examples.... you may have some ideas already....
The fauxgis who lead you through practice with their silky sexy whispers or candied baby talk asking you to connect with your hearts centre, whip you through their own personal practice & in hushed tones after they have taken a snap of them selves in practice, awaken you from your two minute savasana with a whispy Namaste. Out of view they.....one or all of the following...... a) bitch about participants b) are rude to staff c) are never on time for other teachers classes d) spill the beans of client or staff confidentiality e) remove yogis form their timetable who don't perform their exact yoga sporty spice hybrid methodologies f) just evil eye you if you don't have enough followers to be in their posse g) never wear the same yoga OOTHD
I fear these ones live a life in fear of not being good enough, which is why they take it out on other people.... just go back top the rubber rectangle breathe & flow you will be fine xxx
The power trippers who run the barbie doll production line YTT's where only the genetically blessed or unnaturally flexible (the participants) are taught/ expected to mimic the candied baby talk to pass with the promise of teaching (if they assist for free) in the studio if they cut the mustard. Instagram marketing strategy is a bigger component of the course than Yoga Philosophy Bhagavad Gita anyone? These are the ones that use the words community & connection kindness & support, but it has a whole lot of caveats underpinning it, so you are constantly walking the tightrope of in or out - unbeknowns to you, cause you thought you were learning about a life in yoga??
One of the many points of a life in yoga is to find a connection to the self, the authentic self the higher self.... oneness. As a sharer of practice, you study you enquire & evolve so that you are teaching from your truth with your authentic voice your happy healthy Vishuda Cakra. Your voice connects you to other yoga peeps & helps to create community, We don't all have to have the same opinions or thoughts, our life in yoga philosophical studies ask us to discuss & discover not dictate.
So its a big fat juicy no to the fauxgi barbie production line, the one voice fits all, be like me BS. Yoga teaches you to BE YOU... YOU ARE ENOUGH. Go find your truth & your own voice.
Then there are the can you cover me or work for free? fauxgis...... A life in yoga teaches you to be patient, generous & balanced. Not to put up with it because its yoga(it was the same in hospitality - trail shift anyone??, get ripped off & work for free......yet here we are.
Yoga as an industry is one where you might get underpaid, not paid at all, asked to teach free classes "to promote the studio" or have to chase your pay like a begger because the fauxgi is off getting an IV banana bag or mani pedi, with the money they owe you.
Asetya or non stealing is of the 8 limbs of Yoga under the Yamas or abstinence's just incase anyone need reminding. Pretty sure that Patanjalis Yoga Sutras are like a mandatory text in every YTT like ever & for good reason the underpin the ver fabric of the practice. Perhaps some peeps just didn't do their required reading or skipped that philosophical discussion.... wondering where the course content on taking a great selfie is?
Entertainingly enough some Fauxgi hideous habits include.....
The mid flow pause..... iPhones up for a selfie & a little impromptu video chat to my followers if you don't mind...... I SHIT YOU NOT.
The glowy post flow savasana shot from the mat....... because a life in yoga never happens for realz ..... unless you gram it... of course.
The setting up of the video to shoot of the entire class ........(fauxgi front & centre) in order to capture their own personal practice 99hundred times out of 10 this is done without asking the class Soz do you mind if you capture you falling over in half moon & post it on the gram?
Chitta vritti nirodha anyone??
To be fair I don't mind if people want to video their practice, it can be quite helpful in some cases, I use the iPhone for good reason in my bespoke trainings. But code of conduct peeps!!!! Check in with the teacher, set your self up down the back, clear it with the people that you may capture .... offer to share the video with them... not welcome them to view their wobbly headstands or mid camel breakdowns on the gram. totes not cool. Side note don't video the teacher unless you ask or they invite you too....
If I am teaching somewhere spectacular & totally selfie worthy I always offer to take photos for participants after class cause it is a lovely souvenir of a trip far form your regular Omies & lets you get to know your collective classmates better!!.... & no not everyone carries a tripod... but you can totally borrow mine!
But seriously this hour of practice the asana class is the final frontier if we can't live a life in yoga off the gram for just one hour.... people please put your phones away. You can do it!!!!! watch the Social Dilemma... you might even throw your phone away or at least give it a dedicated nap time.
I have seen teachers remove phones & am reading posts from iPhone irate, pissed off sharers of practice. Yes we are here for you- can you be here for you???
When I was younger I worked in the fitness industry for many years, as a g-string wearing glitter leg warmer clad freshie aerobics instructor. I fangirl followed our late 80's aerobic legends... Just so you know you literally had to follow them not like look them up on the gram I am talking on foot follow.... today I believe its referred to as stalking. It was all day clubs, drugs & discos, smoke, mirrors of cocaine at the day club & murder on the dance floor then back to fitness fanatic..... I partaaayed too it was super fun..... it was super destructive.
Not just that disco diary, I was thundery cloud of chaos inside for many years and It has taken me into my actual adult adulting years past several heartache hills, anxiety pitstops & depression mountains to shit tonne of self study desirous of a life in yoga.
Everyday I am still working on it yoga every dam day indeed.
Sometimes I get the vibe that this element is present for some yogis as well. Yoga is not confessional where if you do 10 hail mantras you will be forgiven your sins.... but a life in yoga is there without judgement all you need to do is keep showing up & being actually present.
So to the fauxgis who chaff ciggies before class nada - this is not great for pranayama & breath work .... also you smell of smoke so we know. Or to those who get shit faced & turn up announcing their hangover yeah/ nah. By all means go wild explore balance or a lack of balance dance on the edge, I am good with that - honestly I am!! You cannot see the light without exploring the darkness ... just don't bring your duz-bangers & eau de la alcohol to yoga curious peeps who are actually seeking inspiration & are desirous of exploring a life in yoga under your guidance. The yoga pants do not maketh the teacher.
Everybody's truth & everybody's yoga is different it can be what ever it means to you. I guess if you are a student of this art of yoga you can see or feel this stuff from only a few yoga mats away. Don't believe everything you think, or every thing you are told..... turn up ask questions, find your authentic voice, be you, go to the disco & then have a day of rest, so that when you do go class just put your phone away before collective practice. simples.