It’s hard to avoid the yoga crush. Your teacher has it all together. She’s bubbly and sweet, yet oh so philosophical and wise. She’s calm and collected with such dynamism and stamina, contorting herself into incredible positions whilst reciting the Yoga Sutras. She’s strong yet vulnerable, and she has so many followers on Instagram!
I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Yoga teachers are human beings too. Sometimes we get so busy and overwhelmed that we can’t find or make time for our practice. We judge ourselves, compare ourselves to others, feel guilty, neglect our needs and snap at our family and friends.
Many yoga teachers were drawn to the practice to deal with their own mental demons. Yoga gave us a sense of peace and quiet. Of escaping the incessant chatter of our minds. Of belonging.
We love it when you look up to us, and often we look up to you too! But here are some secrets you might not know about us:
Some of us drink alcohol and eat meat
Blasphemy! Some yoga teachers drink, and some even eat meat. Yogic philosophies can be interpreted in many different ways. The philosophy of ahimsa, or non-violence, is often interpreted as requiring a vegetarian or vegan diet. But the ‘rules’ can be interpreted in many ways. Some teachers may feel that a vegetarian diet doesn’t honour their own nutritional needs, and some of them just don’t care. Just because you’re a yoga teacher, doesn’t mean you agree with or follow yogic moral principals, and many of them are open to interpretation.
We can’t do every single yoga pose
We may teach yoga, but often, contrary to popular belief, we don’t actually practice yoga all day every day. Yoga teachers frequently require a second (or third) source of income. We won’t always practice while we teach and so it’s just as challenging for us to get into some of those poses as it is for you (maybe even more challenging). We might have a gentle practice or avoid certain poses because of past or current injuries, or we might not be interested in putting our legs behind our head.
We don’t practice every day
We’re just like you. We have jobs and kids and responsibilities. We travel and make dinner and have huge to-do lists. Most of us try to do something each day, even if it’s just a quick down dog or a few minutes of meditation. But sometimes we prioritise other things in our lives or we just don’t feel like it.
We judge ourselves too
I should be able to balance in tree pose. Don’t. Fall. Over. If I fall over I’ll look like such a loser. No one will trust my teaching expertise. They will all think I’m a terrible teacher and laugh at me. Don’t. Fall. Over.
We’re not enlightened
Did you know that some yoga teacher trainings take less than one month to complete? Whatever your teachers’ experience, chances are they are still learning themselves. You help to facilitate that process. Your teacher has probably done a lot of study and preparation to be where they are today, but just because someone can stand in front of a group of people and talk about philosophy and yoga poses, does not mean that they are enlightened or superior.
Yogasync Me! Is this one of those poses the yoga teacher cannot do either?
Yogasync is where teachers and students learn more about yoga!: