feeding my soul

Over the weekend I went to a talk on yoga psychology by Uma Krishnamurthy. She is a psychiatrist, a yogi, and an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer. One of my favorite things that she said was not about yoga but about dance: if you are angry, dance. To help dissolve your ego, direct your anger to God, and dance. Then you will forget what you are angry about.

Uma quoted from the Gita, the Vedas, and the Yoga Sutras, from Ramakrishna and Aurobindo and Krishnamurthi. Her lecture on how yoga and the ancient teachings teach us about the true purpose of yoga which is personal transformation was so inspiring to me, yet I left her talk feeling a bit depressed.

Her talk made me feel as if I were in India again listening to my teachers at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram. Yet, I left depressed because I feel sometimes that I am the lone voice in the wilderness where I live insofar as getting the personal transformation message out there. I left with the feeling that I don’t belong here, that my ideas on yoga are too “out there.” The feeling that I don’t belong here is so overwhelming at times that it tears at my heart and soul. But that feeling also makes me grateful for my private students who come to my house because they are so dedicated to change and to their practice.

One of my former private students, a business entrepreneur, once told me that it’s hell being a pioneer, that it’s much easier being a follower because the pioneer is the one who gets the arrows shot up her ass. Take that advice for what it’s worth. I will write more later about Uma Krishnamurthy’s lecture.

I told my husband when I got home that the truth that is held in the ancient teachings that Uma spoke about was the reason I travel to India — it nourishes me like no other place does and I can’t explain it. This post comes the closest to an explanation.

I think I will put on some music and dance.

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8 thoughts on “feeding my soul

  1. Teachers are placed where people need to be taught…. otherwise they would not be able to pass on their knowledge. I understand how you feel. Sometimes our role as teachers is to show an alternative by making our lives a living example.
    I completely understand though the feeling you have when surrounded by like minded souls. It is so nice to have that energy around you, vibrating at the same level.
    I think the key as a teacher is balance….time teaching, leading by example offset by blocks of time surrounded and immersed in the vibrational energy and thought patterns of people who are kindred spirits who enhance your own learning and to whom you never have to explain a thing to, because they intrinsically understand you.
    I really do understand.
    I live in a town (not of my choice) that is full of people who are completely different to me, I feel like I am on a different planet to be honest. I really understand how you feel.
    Like I said, I am here through no choice of my own, but I have set the foundations for my exit, back to somewhere where life makes more sense to me. In the meantime, i use the time and situation to my advantage to learn and grow.
    You are not alone, even when it feels like it….but….i really do understand how you are feeling


  2. thank you so much….and yes, I understand what you are saying…and I also know that our difficulties, our aversion, and everything else wrapped up inside it, is ALL a training, it ALL is part of the Path…and that it is my mind and my Ego that puts up the self-imposed walls.

    I GET THAT. but still…..:(

    love what you say about “vibrating at the same level” and being with people that you never have to explain anything to because they get it. as you get it! I feel that I have been on a different planet for so long you can call me ET….

    metta to you, my friend.


  3. I just posted something about this recently….not a week ago. Being outside the status quo. For me, at this wedding, the scariest part was that for a second . . . just a second . . . I hated who I was. For just a second, I thought-they've got it all right. Its about the steak and bouze and the high rollers and who's whos, and expensive cars and skinny bodies, and hot yoga in undies in front of mirrors. For just a second I was the paperbag princess, the energy of that crowd was so strong. And then I called a like-minded friend who reminded me that the spiritual path is/can be a lonely one. And it can certainly be the more challenging route to follow your beliefs. And just that little reminder from a like minded individual . . .brought me back “home” to who I am and who I want to be.
    You are not alone.


  4. I just want to say that Michelle really nailed it — teachers are placed where people need to be taught. This both relates to the teaching you received, Linda, and your role as a teacher on another planet.

    I totally relate to how you are feeling. I teach, not formally but informally, and not yoga (per se) but philosophy, in a place where most people are the polar opposite of me. It is always a joy and a blessing when I find someone that vibrates with me and not against me!

    This may sound funny, but I am a recovering alcoholic who attends AA meetings, and that is the one place in this town where I find people who have a deep spiritual connection with me… Something greater than the glue that binds all of humanity.

    Now what I really got out of this article is that I haven't been dancing enough!


  5. thanks for reading, Rob, I love reading what new readers have to say!

    I understand what you say about the connection at AA meetings — I teach yoga/meditation at a domestic violence shelter to poor Hispanic women survivors so what I say is translated, which adds another layer! These women connect more to what the true purpose of yoga is — personal transformation — than what I have seen in fancy yoga studios.


  6. You are certainly not alone in feeling like you don't belong. That feeling of not belonging has been with me as long as I can remember.

    It's exactly this feeling that lead me to yoga in the first place.

    As a teacher, you are lighting the way for other who also feel like they don't belong, onto the path of yoga and self-realization by your example.

    I also feel like these yoga blogs are a great way of creating a spiritual community to support each other on this journey of self-transformation. So thank you for your contributions!

    A piece of advice I receive often from my teacher is that I already have everything I need. I don't need to go to India or to live in an ashram to find it. All I need to do is find a quiet place to close my eyes and meditate. In meditation we connect with the cosmic consciousness that connects us all. In that space, we are all one.


  7. thank you for your honesty. sometimes it takes the one person to say something, before everyone else can admit that sometimes they feel the same.

    beautiful quote/idea from uma about dancing. how lovely.


  8. As you know, I'm right there with you in that place where things feel so very, very alien.

    This world looks like it's incredibly diverse, but the beauty of it all is that actually, underneath, EVERYTHING IS THE SAME. Even when we can't possibly get how that's possible.

    And I know of the heartache of wanting to run to where things make sense, and just finding that right now isn't the time and you don't even know when it will be the time…

    I know, I do. xo


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