It can be really exciting to think that yogis are exempt from the negative traits that haunt the real world, because then there’s hope that we can leave those traits behind. Having spent a lot of time in yoga studios, I know that they are not exempt. In them, you find the same negative qualities as in the rest of the world – egoism, competition, judgement, ill-will, and unhealthy habits. Perhaps to a lesser degree, but present nonetheless.
The difference I perceive is that yoga studios and their yogis, the good ones, acknowledge these human tendencies, work on them in themselves, and help their students recognize and work on their own negativities. As a yoga teacher, here are some of the negative traits I recognize in myself – jumping to conclusions about someone by how they look, feeling envious when other teachers get more hours or more students than me, craving recognition and praise, and pushing myself too hard in my practice. We yoga teachers are human after all, but it is through what I’ve learned from yoga that I begin to counter these proclivities. Knowing I have no idea what a person is going through or has been through, I can put aside my first impression, give them loving support, a hug, instead of judgement. Recognizing that other yoga teachers have similar insecurities, I can choose to celebrate their successes and popularity, instead of wallowing in self-pity and envy. Knowing my tendency to overdo, I can choose to sit out a pose or two and be an example for others. What it all comes down to is that yoga is a practice for human beings and human beings have frailties and weaknesses. Yoga studios are run by human beings who usually have the best intentions, but are still only mortal.
The solution is simple….Love. When we act from a place of love, all of that humanness, even the negative, can be recognized, forgiven if need be, or, if not too late, put right. I find that Be Yoga is a very awake and aware studio, one where they practice what they preach, one leading from a place of love. From the front desk staff to the teachers to the owners, you can feel the love. It’s a place where we can all be woefully human together. 🙂
Check out Emily’s website emcatenergy.com.