So, who's right??
Teaching yoga is a vulnerable thing. There can be much posturing and pea-cocking, but when I talk one on one with anyone who is in this line of work, we are in agreement on this topic.
I taught one of my signature workshops yesterday. If you've ever taken my class, you know that I teach my ass off, I put a lot of thought into everything. I put myself out there. So as I taught my workshop, I taught my little heart out with my smart ass sense of humor and informal nature. This is my preferred method.
It's always challenging when I am up front leading, and I look into the crowd and see the RBF's (resting bitch faces). Students will literally not take my instruction, stare off into space, or give me nasty looks.. Now, to be fair, as a teacher I never know what this might be about, and 9 times out of 10 it has NOTHING to do with me. I do know this. But still.....
I had an experience yesterday where someone came to my workshop, didn't really look happy to be there, did not follow my instructions. I taught to the rest of the room, the engaged students, the ones who laughed at my stupid jokes and asked great questions. However, I could feel this one student, of course.
Fast forward to the end of the workshop, after singing our hearts out LOKAH SAMASTAH SUKHINO BHAVANTUUUUUUUU!! That's one of my favorite chants to end with as it talks about how all beings may be free from me doing my OWN work!! That's pretty much my biggest platform as an energy worker, teacher and life coach.
As everyone was gathering their things, coming up to me to ask questions, praising the work, this one student came up to me to tell me that essentially my content and sources were fraudulent and had no merit. I was so stunned that I really didn't know what to say. Her desire to deliver this information to me felt targeted and calculated. She paid for my workshop, to sit through it while not enjoying it, staring out the window as we all chanted, only to come up to me as other students were around to drop a bomb. During the bomb dropping, she let me know that she was a teacher too (um..okay), AND, she took her TT in INDIA (so, I'm more legit than you, Leslie). I took this all in and thanked her for her opinion and she walked away.
Wow. What the hell?? Yeah, that's what I thought, too.
I was shaken, thrown off, sad, felt a good ol' vulnerability hangover coming on. I let myself feel what I needed to feel, and then rallied, cuz that's what I fucking do.
Everyone has a fucking opinion. Opinions are not facts. I have my own opinions, however I also practice the 8 limbs of yoga, the yamas and niyamas, and consider ahimsa as often as I can. If I felt the way this woman had, I would have handled it differently. I would have practiced my yoga around it and considered my actions.
Leading Teacher Trainings is no different in this area of right and wrong. Who is right about the arms in chaturanga? The front knee in Virabhadrasana? Opinions abound!!!
My suggestion? Find someone you trust to lead you, research things yourself, and if something doesn't jive and you feel the need to give voice to it, be thoughtful and considerate about the timing.
Peace out, yo