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13 July 2010

the best writing about yoga in a long time

I've been writing this blog since 2005 and I've come across many yoga blogs over the years -- some great, some not so much, some to which I am indifferent, i.e., those I read once and never return. We all have our tastes and I know that this blog is too snarky for some, maybe not foo-foo-peace-love-dove enough about yoga for others, and that's fine. I've been criticized for not sugar-coating my words, for not being "yogic" enough, for being too bold and brash, and frankly, for being too me. That's fine because I know that neither my yoga (not hard enough) nor I (not gentle enough) are everyone's cup of chai in the blogosphere or in real life. At my age, ask me if I care.

But today I found The Magazine of Yoga and I am hooked.  Maybe some of you know it already, but I can't stop reading the articles.  I especially loved this post about teaching: Tired, Uninspired, and Teaching Yoga. Some pithy remarks from the post:

"In teacher’s everyone life there are times the problem is more intractable or more existential, sometimes both at the same time.

My personal prejudice about this is that if you are serious at all about teaching, it’s going to happen to you. I have never had a bad teacher ask me what do about boredom, exhaustion, or doubt....

....If we are ever going to develop the emotional maturity to rise to our full potential as human beings we’re going to have to go through feeling abandoned, mistaken, dubious, and afraid."


Holy Shiva, did that sentence resonate with me...the times I have felt abandoned and mistaken on this path are more than I care to count. I have felt so alien in my local yoga world you can call me ET. So reading these last two lines...

"'Get up and go out in the world,' she [Eve Ensler] said, 'and do what you came here to do.'

Because there’s more to the practice than asana, there’s life."


...recharged me.

As did a new private student today...because there’s more to the practice than asana, there’s real life, yoga warts and all.

12 comments:

svasti said...

Nice one. Thanks for pointing out a new blog that's worthy of adding to my RSS :)

Anahita said...

Love this article! "The only way to teach like someone who practices is to physically get on the mat everyday. Even the days I don’t believe a damn thing." ... that's exactly how I've been feeling about my prana practice... I kind of hate it right now but I am showing up every day anyway.

Anything that is your truth = yogic enough, indeed. Thanks so much for sharing!

The Misanthropic Yogini said...

Was just poking around The Yoga Magazine. What a great resource! Thanks for the heads up!

Carol Horton said...

You go girl! I find your outspokenness delightful and inspirational.

charlotte bell said...

Thanks, Linda. I can't tell you how many times in the 24 years I've been teaching that I've hit that plateau where I feel uninspired and doubtful, and wonder if it's the end of the road for my teaching. I think every teacher goes through this if they're paying attention. Yoga is a long-term relationship that requires that we weather the pleasant and unpleasant. The deeper we go, the more challenging mental/emotional/physical refuse we find. But this is also where the jewels lie. Inspiration, creativity and renewal lie at the other side. And then there's another plateau...

YogaforCynics said...

I always admire a yoga teacher who will admit to feeling pissed off or frustrated or just not particularly happy in front of her students--not laying her misery on them, or making excuses, but just being real instead of always holding up the constantly-blissed-out-and-at-peace-with-the-world yoga teacher mask.

Kathy said...

Simply loved it. Have been around, but this article made me comment. :)

Grace said...

"the times I have felt abandoned and mistaken on this path are more than I care to count."

Always refreshing to hear such honesty. And boy, can I relate. I don't even know what to call the path that I'm on. There is a lot of pressure to have a name for it. Even on the mat, I can find myself thinking, "What am I doing this for?" If I'm lucky, with the next breath, I'll think, "Oh yeah, that." Whatever that is.

babs said...

Thanks for turning me on to Magazine of Yoga! It is great!

Brandi Reynolds said...

hey there! found you through cirkla. Awesome blog! And thanks for the link to the magazine of yoga...I'm also something of a smartass rebel chic so i appreciate someone who doesn't sugarcoat.

Random Thoughts said...

I am still catching up on my blog reading. I feel almost relieved to read the post and the comments. I am a newbie teacher only teaching for close to 2 years. Lately I was feeling so guilty for sometimes being at loss for words while teaching a class. Feeling bad about not giving the students in the class that peace-love-dove-blissed out experience. For not being able "portray" yoga a certain way. Glad I read this. I don't feel so guilty anymore.

Bob Weisenberg said...

Thanks for letting us know about this.

Bob W.