I learned something about myself today. Well, it wasn’t as much a lesson as it was a realization.
I am a terrible yoga student. I mean, really, really bad. Let me first say that I do NOT agree with the school of thought that says there is an end goal in yoga. But, there are a lot of people who believe that the “goal” is to reach some kind of spiritual ascension. For me, it’s all about the journey. BUT, for the sake of this entry, let’s go with it. Back to my train of thought… If the “goal” of yoga is to attain the highest level of spiritual enlightenment, I am far from it. In yoga classes where I’m the student, I am rarely in the moment. I constantly compete with myself and whoever the best person in the room is, and I’m always (ALWAYS) taking mental notes of different things to incorporate in my own classes. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve even gone as far as taking a notebook with me to other classes so I can jot down my thoughts and cool poses and comfy modifications.
Yet somehow, when I’m teaching yoga, I’m a completely different version of myself. I feel totally immersed. I feel powerful and elated. I flow, I can hold difficult poses longer, and I feel like my body and mind are fully reaping the benefits of my practice. For my students, yoga by itself can be therapy. For me, teaching yoga is one of the most cathartic, therapeutic things I could do for myself. I’m addicted.
I’ve learned that my practice is for my students, but teaching is for myself. I practice to feed my teaching, and teach to feed my life.