Yoga Teachers Get Angry Too...
A little while ago, a work colleague said to me, "I've always wondered if yoga teachers just don't feel anger any more?" I laughed. I had literally just finished a conversation with another colleague about my recent not so yogic outburst of anger. Well, it wasn't just anger, it was fear, underneath the anger, but I had a lot of old pent up stuff that was stored around this memory, so it was a good mix of the 'heavy' emotions that we as yogis generally work to acknowledge and let move out with our breath. Except that morning when it had all come bubbling up to the surface was because I was getting pressed from several angels in my life, and the pressure cooker was on..!
For me, I was sort of surprised at this outburst, though also not really. I knew what was stressing me out, I knew that it needed to be expressed, rather than suppressed. SO I let it. I yelled, I cried, I even stamped my foot. For that moment, yes I looked like the petulant five year old in the supermarket not getting her chocolate! Though I also knew if I let it out now, then it would have room to clear out and I could calm down afterwards. And I did calm down. I knew perhaps the explosion could have been headed off earlier with some better communication and stress relief measures in place, though I wasn't judging myself. I gave myself compassion for the hurt I felt in the past, and the fear I had clung to because of it. I swallowed knowing fear is not always real, and that I could breath into the present to see potential new ways of handling this situation for a 2nd time.
So yes, I FEEL emotions, very deeply at times. I feel stress, guilt, shame, regret, joy, ecstasy, love, compassion, sweetness ... the list goes on. I swear too, yes! I'm quite real and honest with who I am. Essentially I, and every other yogi, or yoga teacher, is HUMAN. I myself am a sensitive person, and a lot of people are too without necessarily recognising that fact. This is one reason I started doing yoga, and coming back to the mat continuously. Because I found a way through yoga to recognise my emotional patterns, acknowledge the dominant and habitual emotions, accept them, maybe laugh at them, and even eventually LOVE them. Yoga gave me a way to map my subconscious tendencies and see the ways I had previously been ruled by emotions. 'Suddenly' I was given a way to see that living through my emotions, was what had kept me living in commotion, confusion and drama.
The difference with yoga teachers is that they know these emotions do not define their total personality. Emotions are simply passing visitors, a product of the nervous system receiving stimulation from the outside world. Emotions can pass as quickly as they come, when we learn to recognise their impermanence and therefore lack of power over us. The more we develop our conscious awareness, the less we are ruled by our anger, or fear or impatience. Instead we dwell with acceptance of our passing friends, knowing they may show us a lesson or two, but they don't define us. We are defined by our relationship with ourselves, with our consciousness, and our connection to love itself; Universal flow.
So it might seem like yoga teachers generally don't feeling emotions, but they are often well aware of their emotions... however aren't caught up in the 'story' of them. Try this to help move emotions through your awareness with a little less stick! Next time your emotions come up to the surface ... why not try fully acknowledging what it is you're feeling, accepting that it is there to show you something about yourself or the situation you're in, and breath deeply to release it again. See if you can let go of the grip.
Try this simply and effective meditation for stress relief ....
Begin by tuning in with the Adi Mantra 3 x ... ONG NAMO GURU DEV NAMO.
Posture: Sit in a comfortable meditative posture with a straight spine–chin in, and chest lifted, hands in Gyan Mudra or any other comfortable meditative mudra.
Eyes: Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath.
Breath: Inhale through the nose in 8 equal strokes. Exhale through the nose in one deep and powerful stroke.
Time: 11 minutes.
To End: Inhale deeply and hold the breath 5-10 seconds. Exhale. Inhale deeply and hold the breath 15-20 seconds and roll your shoulders. Exhale powerfully. Inhale deeply and hold the breath 15-20 seconds and roll the shoulders as fast as you can. Exhale and relax.
FINISH by chanting SAT NAM x 3 times.