The longer I teach, the more I read about the corporatization of American yoga, the more I was thinking that I should quit teaching group classes and just concentrate on my own practice (which is very free-form but that’s another post), find my own yoga tribe and disappear somewhere…
then someone tells me how I changed their life.
I was going to drive into Chicago this morning to take a class at the studio where I trained. I live 45 miles straight west of Chicago and on a good day it might take me 75 minutes in the morning — a bad day would be 2 hours. It was 7:30 am and I was leaving for a 10 AM class. So I get into my car, leave the garage, turn on the radio, and heard about how bad traffic was all over Chicagoland this morning. The traffic announcer said that three lanes were down on the expressway I take and it was a parking lot. I pulled back into my garage.
Since I was dressed for yoga I decided to go to another studio to a friend’s class, she teaches “Tantra Yoga” in the style of Rod Stryker. I got there and set up and a woman came over and said “Hi, Linda. How are you?” I don’t get to this studio on a regular basis so I don’t know the students and I was surprised someone knew my name. I said hi, fine thanks, how are you?, and she said, “I remember your class. It changed me.”
Now my brain is working overtime…OK….she looks a little familiar….where….how….huh?
I said, “I’m sorry I don’t remember you…where did you take my class?” She mentioned the studio where I used to teach, two years ago. She told me that I taught my yin-yang yoga class (actually a workshop) and that I did a chakra meditation afterward.
She said that she had barely done yoga before walking into my workshop. She said that the chakra meditation had “blown” her apart. I can’t even remember what I did because I never, ever remember what I do from class to class — I channel yoga. Seriously. She motioned from her crown to her root and said “everything opened up. I was like, ‘wow’.” Her eyes glowed from the memory and she gave me a big smile.
I thought, but did not tell her, that I did nothing, she did it all. I merely gave her a road map.
I stood there, stunned. Many of you think I am Ms. Yoga Snark, but I’m here to tell you, I have self-esteem issues as a yoga teacher. Even though I study at one of the most prestigious yoga schools in the world, I still think I am not good enough. I think that I am nowhere near worthy enough to teach globally next year, that I do not deserve the opportunities that are coming my way.
When she finished her story I told her how grateful I was to hear her compliments. She said, “it was because of you and your class that I decided to do teacher training” (which she is currently doing.) I stood there amazed. One class and a woman whom I never saw again. Until today.
Never underestimate the power of yoga. And I will never underestimate myself again.