…so true. glad someone finally brought that to light!!!
i had a student in one of my classes the other day say immediately after namaste: “was that really power because it felt more like vinyasa.” ouch. first of all, does this person even know what “namaste” means?!?! i’m not by any means a expert, but i understand it as the divinity in me bows to the dinivity in you…the truest part of myself acknowledges and respects the truest part of yourself …you better check yourself before you wreck yourself!
i tried to not let that comment kill my confidence, but it’s hard to not take things like that to heart, especially when what i bring to the mat as a teacher comes from a place of love, care, and sincerity. … plus i’d like to think i kick ass in class!
going through all of the learning curves of teaching; figuring what works and what doesn’t, i realize that i’m bound to teach some not-so-kick-ass classes in the process. it’s part of the journey. plus, if i never taught the not-so-kick-ass classes, how will i know when i do? i can’t be amazing at teaching without growing pains, experiencing moments of frustration and failure, or times of self-doubt. all those times make all of the blood, sweat, and tears worthwhile when i finally experience a wow moment and can say to myself: YES! this is exactly why i love doing what i do!
anyway, in this particular instant – i wasn’t having one of those wow moments. i took a deep yogi breath to prepare myself and gave that person my spiel about what my personal opinion is regarding the difference between vinyasa and power.
[exhale]. let it go.
in my opinion, regardless of the “rigorousness” of a class (which is subjective to begin with), what you bring to your practice equals what you take away from it. plain and simple. regardless if you’re doing 15-20 chaturangas or ONE, it’s not in how many or even how advanced your poses are. a strong yoga practice embodies quality, awareness, mental peace, breath, and integrity that builds energy, and strength. i’ve found my practice to be just as challenging in a class that had a simple sequence (without any fancy asanas) as when i’m in a rigorous class; each are challenging in their own ways.
in the past when i’ve gotten off my mat dissatisfied with my practice, i look within myself: was i really 100% aware and dedicated to my practice or was my mind somewhere else? was i open to exploring another level of my practice and could i have gone deeper? was i really listening to the teacher and applying his/her instruction in my own body? was i more worried about what i looked like compared to others in the class? did i make it “easy” on myself because i’m not feeling 100% today or was i just being lazy? it’s hard to be honest with myself sometimes.
what i love about yoga is that it brings to the surface all of things that i repress deep down inside. it brings up fears and insecurities that i can either face and overcome or cower away from. it’s challenging and it takes time, but that’s the beauty of yoga and how a yoga practice not only transforms the physical self, but also the emotional and spiritual self as well. your yoga practice is what you make of it. i can take it to whatever level i want to or not – depending on how i feel.. but i know that whatever i bring to the mat is 100% of what i can give at that moment.
so, needless to say, i am grateful to that student who spoke up in class. thank you. without your comment, i wouldn’t be writing this post or contemplating this in my teaching or my own practice. in your honor, i’ll still add a couple more wow-asanas to my classes to amp it up!
“Anyone who practices can obtain success in yoga but not one who is lazy. Constant practice alone is the secret of success.” -Hatha Yoga Pradipika
introverted sensing thinking judging
44% introvert | 1% sensing | 25% thinking | 44% judging
take it. share it.
i was compelled by a good girlfriend of mine to re-take this test… although i knew i had my results somewhere. she is very into this sort of stuff, but then again… so am i! dear friends since our high school days, our friendship has had its ups and downs through the years – as many friendships do. you’ll know you have a true friend when all the dust settles, the drama subsides and he/she is still standing right by you. i have a small circle of close friends, but i know i can count on every single one of them to be honest & true… even though sometimes they tell me things i don’t want to hear! for that i am lucky & blessed!
the istj profile (by joe butt)
ISTJs are often called inspectors. They have a keen sense of right and wrong, especially in their area of interest and/or responsibility. They are noted for devotion to duty. Punctuality is a watchword of the ISTJ. The secretary, clerk, or business(wo)man by whom others set their clocks is likely to be an ISTJ.
As do other Introverted Thinkers, ISTJs often give the initial impression of being aloof and perhaps somewhat cold. Effusive expression of emotional warmth is not something that ISTJs do without considerable energy loss.
ISTJs are most at home with “just the facts, Ma’am.” They seem to perform at highest efficiency when employing a step-by-step approach. Once a new procedure has proven itself (i.e., has been shown “to work,”) the ISTJ can be depended upon to carry it through, even at the expense of their own health.
ISTJs are easily frustrated by the inconsistencies of others, especially when the second parties don’t keep their commitments. But they usually keep their feelings to themselves unless they are asked. And when asked, they don’t mince words. Truth wins out over tact. The grim determination of the ISTJ vindicates itself in officiation of sports events, judiciary functions, or an other situation which requires making tough calls and sticking to them.
it’s true – spare me the details. leave me out of the drama. tell me what’s relevant, and you will hold my attention. running around in circles trying to make your point will only make me irritable & frustrated. i am very blunt & to the point. you can count on me to call you out on shit. if you can’t handle it… i’m sorry that’s how i roll. take it or leave it.
believe it or not, i do have a soft side. when i lead a class through a practice, i tap into another side of my personality. even though i am deliberate & technical, there is a part of me that slips into a natural flow, and respects that each person is going through his/her own personal experience within the practice. there is a method to my madness that i’m still cultivating as a teacher. it’s hard to explain in words… it’s something that i feel. when i practice, i prefer to move through the asanas with my eyes closed. i found that for me, i become more in tune with myself, my body’s rhythm and how i move through space.
now the learner in me kicks in:
pretty similar to the test in the strengths 2.0 book from gallup press. i posted my 5 themes at the beginning of the month: restorative. responsibility. deliberative. strategic. learner.