Why is a life coach teaching to a room full of yoga teachers? Because yoga teachers are people, just like everyone else. While there's nothing more beautiful than people working on themselves, no amount of crossing your limbs and opening your heart will work if you can’t have a conversation with your mother!
The more you investigate, the more you’ll find that almost everyone has something that they want -- or need -- to deal with in life. It’s part of the experience of being human. No one is exempt. Every life contains elements that are emotional, things that are dark and frightening, things related to family history, and to negative, inherited personality traits.
Most people, even yogis, don’t know how to deal with those kinds of challenges. Taking a yoga class when you need to be dealing may offer solace but not necessarily lasting peace of mind. That’s why Elena Brower, an established spiritual teacher, invited me to her studio, Virayoga, to teach her community of yoga teachers.
Yoga definitely helps people to pause, and to breathe, but how calm can you really be if your relationship with your boyfriend is a mess? Yoga is healing, but if you never learn how to communicate, and deal, then no amount of practice will heal you.
People are turning to yoga for wisdom where they have historically turned to religion. They go to yoga class on Saturday, or Sunday, mornings instead of to temple, or church. They look to their yoga teacher for leadership. The yoga traditions hold great wisdom, but the step-by-step process required to actually put that wisdom into action may get lost in translation.
The class I’m teaching for yoga teachers (based on the Handel Method®) is all about that step-by-step process. It’s about facing yourself, dealing, and ultimately genuinely knowing yourself--on the mat, off the mat, and in every walk of life. Yogis are incredible candidates for this kind of work because they are seekers.
Too often, people are afraid to go to the places that feel dark, dangerous or vulnerable. That unwillingness, however, has a price. Avoid those dark places, and you will feel powerless, and shut down.
Avoiding vulnerability, not having important conversations, and not facing the truth doesn’t feel good. Not walking your talk doesn’t feel good. What nags at you? Do you smoke? Drink too much? Have infidelities -- present or past -- that haunt you?
Everyone struggles with something, but few have the wherewithal to face their demons head-on. I promise you -- yoga teachers struggle with the exact same issues that you do. These teachers are not feeling proud of themselves in some areas of life, and some areas are worse than others.
Here are some issues I’ve repeatedly seen in my work with the yoga community: