Over the last month or so, I have been roaming around from Bikram studio to Bikram studio, taking classes wherever the wind took me. And since I was just in NYC, I was lucky enough to take classes there too.
With all the different personalities and energies, I noticed that the classes I struggled the most, were the classes that were a little quieter, a little more subdued.
As a Bikram yoga teacher, I try my hardest never to judge a fellow teacher. I know what they’ve gone through. The same 9 weeks of gruelling training, of little sleep, of anxiety, of hundreds and hundreds of people in your personal space while you study the dialogue. I remind myself this always when I’m having a tough class, because let’s face it: we sometimes blame the externalities – the heat, the smelly neighbour, your outfit, the teacher. When really, all those factors that tend to get blamed the most…they’re the most constant things you will find in a Bikram class. The heat will always be there, there will be an outfit that needs extra tugging, and there will always, always be a neighbour that smells. And of course, the teacher. We can’t have a Bikram class without one!
Back to what I was saying about my classes. Yes, I tend to have a tough time in quieter, more subdued classes. Let me rephrase, I am challenged by quieter, more subdued teachers. For the most part, it isn’t because of them or their teaching. It is because I am of the personality that thrives on high energy. I want to fill my ears with the dialogue moving so fast that I cannot think beyond the yoga.
In essence, I love to get lost in that room, with the words drowning out the world outside, and the thoughts within. Different parts that I have drowned out like patience, acceptance, and non-judgment. Why bother when the teacher is doing it for me, right? I take from them inspiration, motivation, anything they can give me.
So when I am met with quiet and subdued, I sometimes feel lost. And there is where I really, truly struggle. In training, they tell us that we as teachers must believe in our students until they can believe in themselves. Somewhere along the way, I must remember to do same for myself. As a yogi, I know that I must face my practice in its weakest state on the days when I am brave enough, so that maybe one day I can appreciate the quiet and the subdued.
That will probably be a long time from now. Because man, do those classes ever suck (for me).
What can I say, I’m a work in progress.