I’m just a problem girl.
It’s been said that one should never say never, but as for my teaching in any more yoga studios, for right now, in this present moment (and I actually said it all this week) I can say, never again.
In my humble opinion, when you’re a starry-eyed newbie yoga teacher there is a little part of you that longs for that perfect yoga community of like-minded holistic souls who will unconditionally love and support one other; where it does not make any difference what style one teaches, how much our yoga clothes cost, who one trained with, or whether one does adjustments or not, because in the end, it’s all good and perfect and lovely in the peace-love-dove yoga world. yoga teachers are all one big happy family when we travel to Mecca — I mean the yoga conferences — and happily chant AUM and SHANTI and celebrate the Goddess in each of us as we yoga trance dance and cry together in those ubiquitous group hugs….”farewell, Tiffani Shanti Lakshmi, see you next year at the Tantric Goddess workshop in Omaha!”
And then reality hits you in the face like a wet, stinky yoga mat rug that 100 Bikram yogis just sweated on.
I understand that people are people and human nature is what it is whether you’re a plumber or a Fortune 500 CEO. we all have our foibles and the little things that make us and the people in our lives insane. call me stupid, but somehow, somewhere deep inside one’s heart, you just don’t expect to be screwed (figuratively) by a another yoga teacher. that just ain’t supposed to happen. is it? somehow I just don’t expect to be treated like one of the huge piles of excrement that I walk around in an Indian street. I must have missed that day in my first teacher training: “What To Do When a Yoga Studio Owner Treats You Like Shit.”
Oh…I’m sorry…is that too real and honest for you? because I’ve been told that I’m too real and honest. well, fasten your seat belts, children, because you’re in for a bumpy ride.
Those of you who are regular readers might remember that I left a studio last year because the alcoholic studio owner walked in stumbling drunk to one of my workshops and into one of my classes (during savasana no less.) I wrote about it here and here. The irony is that the studio I refer to in those posts, the one where I moved to, the one I was so grateful to teach at, is the studio where I was FIRED from this week. yes, dear readers, yours truly was FIRED from a yoga studio. I was told that I was no longer welcome there.
The most surreal thing about it was that I was accused of things I did not do and instead of reasonably picking up the phone and asking whether these things were true, the studio owner fired off a screaming email — I WILL LET THAT SINK IN: I WAS FIRED IN AN EMAIL — telling me to mail my key because I was no longer welcome at the studio. but I digress. back to the alcoholic owner.
I understand addiction. believe me, I do. been there, done that, momma don’t ride dat hoss no mo’, y’all. and any of you out there who know or live with addicts know it’s hell. but when you try to help someone and you’re abused for it and you’re lied to, I walk. the thing is, I could handle the alcoholic owner, but what I could not handle was the total lack of support from every other teacher at the studio (except for one who also walked.) not one teacher called to show their support or to ask how I was. not one. ever. it was like I had died.
I was so upset about the situation that I talked to my teacher, a Theravadan Buddhist monk, who felt that those teachers talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk. he thanked me for coming to him because he said if she ever walked in liked that to his dharma class “I would just….” and he moved his fingers like he was walking, “and I would not even say goodbye.” he told me that I did the right thing in confronting the owner about her addiction. and if a Buddhist monk tells me that, then that’s OK by me.
So much for the “yoga community”, a phrase that makes me regurgitate faster than eating salmonella infested potato salad. and the rage over what I felt was a betrayal stuck in my body as chronic, sometimes excrutiating, back pain for a year. talk about my aversion creating my suffering.
to be continued…..