I am writing this from a personal experience. I have been practicing yoga for 15 years and teaching for almost 5.
YOGA DOES NOT HAVE TO BE UNREALISTICALLY POSITIVE TO BE HELPFUL
Sometimes as a Teacher and also as a student I come to the yoga class and sit on my mat completely overwhelmed. We don’t have to be too excited about Life all the time and especially when we step into the Yoga class, not as a Teacher and not as a Student.
I want to be that Teacher who expresses what she feels that day and that expression is not only reflected in the practice but is also transferred to the students in the class. I am sometimes uncomfortably honest, at times dark and reflective I even talked about death and how one would not mind dying doing what they LOVE … LIKE ME WHILE TEACHING YOGA :))
This practice we do together, myself as a teacher and also as a student aligns me with empathy and teaches how hard forgiveness can be sometimes, forgiveness towards our self and towards others.
Who is interested in constant light, sweeteness and blind positivity in their yoga practice?
We will never make progress if this is all we get on the mat.
In Yoga,our practice is meditation, our body is in movement our mind connects but also explores other corners of the inner selves. I am carrying on and off the mat all that and sometimes those aspects are dark, depressing and full of anxiety and anguish. That is ok too and YOU should know that.
When I take class often I don’t want to shine anything anywhere, I WANT TO BREATH AND MOVE THROUGH THESE SHADES OF ANXIETY.
SO I TELL YOU ..BRING YOUR WHOLE SELF TO THE MAT, DO NOT LEAVE ANYTHING BEHIND GOOD OR BAD , LIGHT OR DARK TAKE IT ALL WITH YOU TO THE MAT, AND WHEN YOU LEAVE THAT ROOM SHED SOME OF THAT AWAY TO MAKE SPACE FOR SOMETHING NEW.
So the question that is arising is: Why can’t we have that one hour of share positivity while our hands are in prayer and the third eye is vibrating to the universe? Well here is why because you should also vibrate REALITY – THE REALITY THAT WE EXIST AND LIVE ON THIS BLUE GREEN MARBLE THAT IS CALLED EARTH, AND THE FACT THAT ON THIS EARTH WE ARE JUST THAT A SUM OF ALL OUR PARTS GOOD AND BAD RIGHT THERE ON THE MAT.
I don ‘t want to tell you is all going to be ok when I Teach, I WANT TO SHOW you through a challenging practice passive or active, through breathing techniques and honesty in my words that you can be with your darkness and that this is the practice just for that.
Be there on the mat and put away the veil so you can see YOUR REALITY UNOBSTRUCTED by a PRETTY FACADE WE WEAR SOMETIMES. GET NAKED ON THAT MAT, UNDRESS YOURSELF NOT OF THE PHYSICAL CLOTHES BUT OF THE CLOTHES THAT WEAR YOU DOWN.
I ask in class how you feel today don t be scared of saying I am not well, I am tired, I am overwhelmed. Do not powder sugar with positivity your yoga practice you are doing yourself a disservice. SOME POSES ARE NOT ABOUT PERFECTION THEY ARE ABOUT SURENDER, COPING AND SURVIVAL
So go into those poses and let it all rush down, like me remembering my mom and missing her and imagining how I can say goodbye. It all floods back in one posture and I truthfully know at the same time that I can get myself out whenever I AM READY AND SO CAN YOU!
Namaste to all!
By Cristina Holtz