7 Kinda True, Funny Overgeneralizations about Yoga Teachers
Yoga teachers, no matter creed, color, gender nor age, must have a lot in common. What makes a person want to be a yoga teacher? Is there an underlying motivation for all of us? Or does everyone have different reasons?
We’re a different breed, attracted to a profession that is neither easy nor, if we’re really being honest, totally lucrative. “Sure, I’ll put my body, mind and soul through hellfire to work my butt off, while not really getting paid that much.”
What are our commonalities? Why do we want to do this? Who are these people who twist us, turn us upside down, help us to balance our bodies on our hands?
Surely all of us stand on common ground together so here are 7 sort-of, kind-of, at least half-truths about yoga teachers. These over-generalizations are lightly insulting, and so they should to be taken lightly. I am one so I can make fun of them. So let’s all relax.
7 Kinda True Things about Teacher:
1. We are crazy. The people who love yoga the most are the people who need it the most. And yoga teachers love yoga the most. Yoga feels grounding to flighty types who are all over the place (yours truly). It feels spacious to those who have too much stuff jammed up inside their minds and souls. It feels freeing to people who feel like they live in straightjackets. The crazier the person, the stronger the result. The stronger the result, the more likely the lost and found will want to spread the good news and provide it for others.
2. We are control freaks. Tell me that a person who is ordering you to move your body into certain positions, to breathe a certain way, even what to put in your mind is not a control freak. And then I’ll send you up to #1. Yoga teachers love power. We are born to tell you what to do and how to do it, from your pinky toe to the crown of your head. The more detailed the instruction of the pose, the more power-hungry the teacher.
3. We love attention. We should have gone into acting, dancing, singing or some other show business, but we couldn’t pull it together or care enough to chase our half-dreams. But that does not change the fact that we crave the limelight, that we need the spotlight. So we opted to stand in front of a room of sweaty people who look at and listen to us for an hour or so while we feel the high of being a star.
4. We are people-pleasers. Truly, if you look at the whole game of yoga, it exists to make people reach goals and feel good. Yoga teachers go into it wanting to do whatever it takes to make the people around them happy, at any cost. Money? Take it. Time? Here it is. Health? I can eat later. Sweat and tears? Don’t need them. “What do you need? Surely, yoga can provide it for you. Surely, as a yoga teacher I can be the one who provides it. Like me, love me – I’m your yoga teacher!”
5. We like to feel righteous and superior. No one loves to give advice quite like a yoga teacher. We are the parents of our student-children, and we want to figure this out for you, whatever it is. Because this makes us feel like we know more than the student. The sensation of sitting in front of a bunch of vulnerable, supine people during savasana is some kind of weird high-and-mighty moment. We like to walk around and bark orders while you work like slaves. We like to tell you to get into child’s pose (or worship position, as we secretly call it amongst ourselves) and stand before you like a sultan.
6. We may, or may not, have weird beliefs about money. You might not get rich being a yoga teacher. Everyone knows that. But still, we go to training after training, festival after festival, class after class to hone our skills, to get better at our job. Sometimes it seems like we’re spending more than we’re making. Sometimes it feels like we think we don’t deserve money. Sometimes it feels like, because we’re all spiritual and really holy, we think money is dirty so we don’t want it. Sometimes we think materialism will take away our yoga teacher-ness.
7. We have big, brave hearts. All of that said, it’s obvious we love it. And so we do this out of love. We might even love you too. It’s obvious the practice saved us at some point. It’s obvious that we want to give back what we received through the yoga. In all honesty, it’s public speaking and it’s scary to stand up in front of a bunch of people and put them in risky positions. It’s risky to invest in the certification process too. It takes a lot of upfront capital and some balls. But it really takes a lot of heart and service. If any of these sort-of-true overgeneralizations is true, it’s probably this one.
Thank a yoga teacher today, and if you are one, pat yourself on the back.
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