Mighty Words

Apr 17, 2011 | Community, Wisdom, Yoga teaching  | 0 comments

If you are a yoga teacher – any teacher, really – be very careful what you say to your students because it may come back to haunt you. You are a sort of god/goddess in the classroom and your words go in and may just happen to stay there.
I know this happened to me with my teacher. I still have some of that programming although it was more than 30 years ago. One of Martyn’s expressions said while we were doing standing poses (believe it or not) was: Don’t come out of the pose! Die in the pose!
Well, it was the early 80’s, when there was the mentality of “no gain without pain”.
Today I have visiting with me on Mitchells Island Soo Balbi who did yoga teacher training with me in 1995 and Robert Browne, a student from 1988. They’ve both been quoting things I used to say in classes – fortunately nothing too cringe-worthy.
Now here’s someone who is worthy of quoting, the beautifully articulate and compassionate Ram Dass:

 I look back and see my own inconsistencies over time. I see how many things I have been wrong about in my life. I remember the arrogance with which I taught a course at Harvard in human motivation. How limited and even incorrect was the gospel according to behaviourism that I was propagating. I taught Freudian theory as if it were the ultimate wisdom while in fact it turned out to represent a rather impoverished view of the human condition. How do I feel about all these errors? Embarrassed? A little! But that state of mind just flickers across the screen of the consciousness. It is almost immediately replaced by a sense of humour at how poignant we human beings are. That in turn is replaced by a deep appreciation for the grace of having been able to move on, of not getting stuck in any particular take or reality, of seeing and being able to admit my bad judgment. Truth isn’t necessarily popular or easy to espouse, but it certainly keeps things lively.
Love everyone and tell the truth.

- mighty words

Soo in Virasana


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