Modern yoga teachers are just regular people, it’s not too common to find true gurus these days. The teachers we admire and respect are not often enlightened Masters anymore, but they are the ones who honestly acknowledge and learn from their inner demons. They’ve bothered to work their own practice, to make it work for them, to come to realizations and understandings that inspire them to continue and to grow…they didn’t persist just on a weekly hit of inspiration.
It’s very popular to “name drop” in the yoga scene…and there seems to be a new name in recent months. I don’t know that she’s particular to yoga, or if she is more of an inspirational speaker. So, when I saw one of her clips in my facebook newsfeed recently, I decided to see what she spoke about. It wasn’t anything new to my ears, but I was intrigued by her audience who sat fully engaged and agog with inspiration.
Being our best selves is what the human heart wants. But when the reality of what lies between here (our current situation) and there (our imagined self) hits, it hits hard and our inspiration tends to wain, if not tumble into an abyss. While watching the video, I was suddenly aware that these type of speakers make a lot of money doing talks because of the inspiration….it’s that hit that the audience is so in need of. People are so intrigued with inspiration while they sit through the talk, that reality hasn’t set in yet….so these speakers continue to make money while nothing much changes in the end, for the majority of the audience.
The daily walk of becoming what that speaker is talking about is messy, it’s lonely, it’s isolating, it’s dark and it’s depressing…but what makes it worth it, is what comes from it (which is the part the speaker focused on). The speaker didn’t mention the mess between where we are now and where they’re talking about. So people from the audience set out, all gung-ho, when the breaks come on having found themselves in the middle. The middle is where we don’t like it, we don’t know what to do with ourselves because this part wasn’t included in what the speaker told us about.
Fumbling around in the middle, not liking it, slap our purged inner ugliness on to another, fueling a nice blame and shame cycle instead of becoming that person we envisioned ourselves to be when we were sitting in that audience. Most people don’t expect how painful the walk can feel, this isn’t what they signed up for when they were sitting in that audience with tears of inspiration and beauty welling up in their eyes, being called through such inspired motivation.
The point is, you cannot make your yoga teacher be that hit of inspiration. Like any addiction, there comes a point in your practice where that inspiration needs to touch you deeply enough that you’re the one doing your practice. The teacher can’t do that for you. If by some sad circumstance you do use your teacher as your source of inspiration, that same teacher will one day touch a raw nerve…then it’s a make or break relationship because you’ll be out that door, never to be seen or heard from again. You’ll find your next hit elsewhere. Inspiration is as addictive as anything. The glamour wears off when we dig in to the real thing and those who are willing to walk beside you will receive the ugly end of the stick, not the glamour speaker who started it all. It’s not so beautiful wading through the mess we’ve spent a lifetime building up, but if we have the courage to see it through, we will actually be what that speaker was talking about.--with love, Letters In Yoga www.lettersinyoga.com
image credit: imdb; shady-shypervertdeviantart; glumaceous-tent