I’ve been teaching yoga for over 3 years and practiced (sometimes intermittently) for 7 years. And for whatever reason within the last year I’ve had thoughts of shame creeping up on me that I wasn’t setting a guiding example for my students – I wasn’t the perfect yogi. I’d compare myself against other teachers in the area and of course the perfect forms you see on Instagram. I would see myself as lacking because I wasn’t doing the handstands or wasn’t (and probably will never be) the most flexible. But yoga is and should be about YOUR PRACTICE and what it means to you. It shouldn’t and doesn’t matter what’s on the outside and how poised you appear to others – it’s about how it makes you feel and the changes happening on the inside.
So I’ve decided to say, f*ck it, I’m human, I love yoga, and I’m going to embrace me. And hopefully that true light will attract other like minded individuals.
10 Ways I’m not the perfect Yogi
…and I’m ok with that.
- I don’t do yoga for hours a day or even 20 minutes all days.
- My flexibility has and always will be a work in progress.
- I’m not vegan or vegetarian. Although I gravitate towards more plant based options, I know that sometimes I like a piece of chicken or pulled pork.
- I don’t only eat organic – because sometimes it’s a waste of money. Seriously, organic sugar substitute? Just eat the sugar. Eat whole foods and limit the processed crap.
- I don’t always have positive thoughts about people.
- I’m afraid of handstands and going upside down, but I’m working on it.
- I like wine & yoga classes – they’re fantastic, and let’s be honest, no one is there for the full on yoga experience. So let’s just stop discussing how it’s not true yoga because alcohol won’t help your center or your breath.
- I love doing yoga to jazz, pop, and club dance music. Flowing to a beat.
- I’m not 11% body fat and never will be again – mainly because that was a very, very unhealthy time for my body. (FYI – that percentage is low for women).
- I don’t meditate daily or sometimes even weekly, but it is one of my goals – someday, eventually.
Bottom line. Be who you are. Don’t try to fit a certain mold or stereotype – you end up a poor imitation and feel awful in the process.
I try to keep my own practice and my classes true to who I am and how the body feels in that place and time – sometimes I completely throw out what I initially set out for my class because moving into this feels better than moving into that in the moment.
Shame can be a natural/normal feeling that creeps into various parts of our life and can in some cases take years to work through. Especially when we’re bombarded with the picture perfect images on Facebook, Instagram, and even blogs! The most important piece to remember is photos are staged and all we’re seeing is the highlight reel. The moments in between the highlights are where real (not reel) life happens and that is just as beautiful (mess, pain, work, and all).
Peace and lots of love,