I started doing yoga in 2013. I began this exercise because my heart and soul were broken. A yogi buddy recommended it as a possible solution. Yes, it did. I liked how tingling, joyful, and calm I felt at the end of a lesson. I felt a little less shattered after practicing.
By the middle of 2014, I’d made up my mind that I wanted to express my thoughts. I could educate my family and friends, work part-time as a yoga instructor, and assist individuals in discovering their joy. I believed I might help depressed and anxious teens—people who suffer from eating problems. My fat mother, my diabetic friend, my pal were going through a difficult breakup, and my cousin had had a stroke. Everyone, everyone, everyone. Everyone. I was ecstatic about this online yoga teacher training blog post.
I discovered a nearby yoga teacher training program. I could also afford it. While I was in class, my parents cared for my seven-year-old son. The stars were in perfect alignment. It was going to be great.
And it was fantastic for the first couple of weeks.
We studied how to teach the asanas and Ayurveda, the sutras, chakras, Patanjali, neti pots, meditation, and nutrition. In Sanskrit, we chanted. We alternated teaching hour-long courses to each other. We rehearsed and rehearsed. Urdhva Dhanurasana, or wheel position, was finally possible for me.
Then something went wrong. I was perplexed by what my teacher was stating. When I looked around the room, I realized that I didn’t resemble any other students. I was unable to do all of the headstands, handstands, and balances.
I began inquiring about courses for older people, tradespeople, people with larger bodies, unwell people, and individuals who haven’t beached babe by bendy beauties. People who are dissatisfied with their physical appearance. Who can afford to go to a Bali yoga retreat? Who doesn’t have $90 to spend on yoga pants? Whose breasts are too big for those adorable neon sports crops? Who can do wheel positions, let alone forward folds?
I began to wonder about some of my teacher’s off-handed remarks.
She chuckled and advised us to “verify that someone truly has lordosis and not just a big ass” while we were talking about biomechanics and how to aid students in our lectures.
I inquired about the philosophy she was explaining to us, specifically the ego, the need for presence, and the truth about who we indeed are. “In the yoga world, social media was all smoke and mirrors,” she said. She was continually posting photos of herself on the beach, in her bikini, with her blonde hair, with her professional photographer, with her flawless figure. Her deception made her wealthy and famous. In addition, she was a globe traveler.
She said that just because we want plenty didn’t imply we weren’t yogis. On the contrary, marketing our business was a means for us to live out our yoga dreams. And a part of me agreed with him.
But I didn’t have a lot of money. I didn’t have (and still don’t have) the ‘ideal’ yoga physique. I was a single mother at the time, working as a secondary school teacher and living money to paycheck. I wanted to teach yoga to others to assist them. They’re my folks—people who are similar to me. And I began to doubt my ability to do so since I wasn’t like her.