Just Because Your Ego is Talking Doesn’t Mean You Have to Listen
It’s been awhile since I’ve stepped into a Yoga studio to practice. I’ve been teaching for a year now and have only done my own personal practice at home or watched videos on YogoGlo, but I have recently been wanting to be back into a studio setting.
Today I went to a studio that I had never been to before. I didn’t know any of the teachers or students. I was an unfamiliar face and I liked it that way. I knew that, before I even stepped into the studio, that my mind would be comparing my teaching abilities with the teacher whom I was about to practice with.
“Mind… we are not here to compare. We are here to practice and learn.” I would say to myself.
I sat down quietly on my mat before class started. Grateful to be back at it. Just by being in the room, my body began to soften. My mind started to fall silent and the air in my lungs started to evolve into a deeper, more rhythmic breath.
He starts class off in a meditation. Gets us centered, aware of our breath. With great queuing articulation, gets our bodies into perfect posture. He asks “do you feel the shift?” I think to myself… yes, yes I do. Then proceeds to put his music on at an alarming volume level and an interesting choice of a ‘first song’ selection. That so called ‘shift’ he had just created just got thrown out the fucking window. Bravo. That’s ok though… I stay centered in my breath.
I maintained somewhat of a consistent focus on my body, breathe and mindful movement throughout class. I would occasionally catch myself in ‘chattering mind’ thoughts and would let them go. It felt nice just to be sweating again on my mat.
The class was great, his queuing was spot on, transitions okay, and his ‘spiritual talk’ beautiful, although feeling a bit recited, I still enjoyed what he had to say.
As my mind compared (as I knew it was going to do), I made sure to notice one thing. That I wasn’t making him wrong in any way for my experience. I was fully responsible for how I was experiencing the class and his teachings. What I took away from it was a reflection into my own teaching. I am (we all are) always growing, learning and expanding. When I show up on my mat, I am the observer, student AND the teacher, same goes for when I show up to teach. I am observing and learning just as I am teaching.
I left class physically feeling renewed and recharged. That’s ultimately what I wanted. Check. I also left with a higher understanding of my own teaching, thanks to the reflection that this teacher had offered me. Along with that, contemplating how much we compare ourselves to others and then having to categorize whether we are better or worse, good or bad, etc. in comparison to them.
There is no such thing as better or worse. Good or bad. There is just different. I am not a better teacher than him or is he of me. The practice for me is to learn from these people that my ego wishes to compare to. I definitely have my favorites and I know what I like. I also know that we can’t please everyone and the only person you are responsible for to make happy is yourself, but that is not an excuse for us to judge others on how they wish to teach/live their lives.
You don’t need to go to Yoga for that. You can take notice of the people around you at anytime and let them become your mirror, your reflection and your teacher. You may find that what you learn about yourself is the most powerful lesson out there that one can learn.