Like many, I am back in school trying to meet the new HLC qualifications while pursuing a yoga certification. Although I am no spring chicken, there are always new things to learn if we stay open to the possibilities and let of of ego.
Last year, I signed up for an intermediate-level asana class. I had been doing hot yoga for five years prior to registering and thought that I would claim the coveted teacher’s pet award. After all, I had ten years of youth on my classmates and am incredibly fit. I have run marathons, competed in triathlons, and spent years on a swim team. On the first day, I showed up in my new Lululemon top that showed off my muscular pecs, and I was ready to downward dog with the best of them. I took a wide stance, threw my rear in the air, and put myself into the pose. As I was mediating in the pose and relishing some inner glory, I heard the teacher yell across the room, “dear God, someone help that new student”. Being the helper that I am, I pulled out of the pose and was ready to instruct the student with the poor posture. To my surprise the misaligned student was me!
I spent the rest of the class, actually the rest of the semester, with an aide who properly adjusted me into EVERY single pose. After five grueling years of practice, I had strengthened nothing except my ability to do every pose incorrectly. My first instinct was to withdraw, but my fierce sense of competitiveness with myself would not let me quit. I persisted, perspired, and complained for sixteen weeks. I did not experience one minute of enjoyment through the two-hour workout.
I am glad that I put my ego aside. I have since graduated to an independent practitioner and the yoga assistant has found a newbie to readjust. Every once in a while, I hear the teacher grunt-good work, Mary.
Yoga really is about letting go. Through this experience, I have learned to let go of my pride and realign my expectations. I have learned that it is okay to need help. Had I held onto my ego, I would have never grown or pursued my passion. I have four classes left before I graduate and can call myself a yoga teacher. Yippee.