The celebrity status we attach to our yoga teachers may limit our full potential. Hot Yoga Asheville- Bikram Method encourages trying a variety of teachers.
When we practice Bikram Method, we tend to garner some strong feelings about our teachers. So, if you’re anything like me, you may peruse the lists of classes and teachers and hand pick your weekly practice schedule based on the teachers that have proven most beneficial to you in your own mind. Yoga in Asheville is no different than yoga in San Francisco in this way, I’ve found. Wherever we are, we find ourselves gravitating to a select group of teachers. At times, some of these favorite teachers become a little like celebrities to us. We begin to worship them a little, and idealize them. Of course we do. We need heroes, and who better than someone who encourages the best in ourselves? Perhaps certain teachers take on the status of celebrities in many of our minds because they symbolize to us our own transformation into a better vision of ourselves. As they teach us to listen to our own bodies and challenge our limits, they reflect the more perfect incarnation of ourselves to which we continually aspire. So we hold them up like totems to our transformation. As we stretch and sweat and learn to love ourselves, we can’t help falling a little bit in love with our teachers too. Just as the heat in the room softens our joints, rendering our bodies more flexible, the heat of each teacher’s spirit serves to open our hearts and minds to new possibilities.
A favorite among Asheville yoga studios: Hot Yoga Asheville.
New Years Eve Day 2013 at Hot Yoga Asheville. (One of my faves dead center with the crazy glasses…do you see me hovering behind him?)
YOGA TEACHERS ARE NOT JUST OUR TRAINERS.
Their words can become like sermons or spiritual catalysts to us in our quest to find balance and truth, oftentimes both physical and spiritual. This is why we sometimes find ourselves in awe of a certain teacher to the point of avoiding other teachers. Almost like a high school crush, we keep coming back to their voice and their truth that excites us and takes us to that familiar place where we feel free to explore our potential. There’s nothing wrong with this admiration. Yet sometimes, when we limit ourselves to only a few of our favorites, we are missing out on the potential to learn from other teachers in different ways.
WHY DO WE GET SO ATTACHED TO OUR YOGA TEACHERS?
The simple answer is that we seek the things that we understand and things that make sense to us, personally. What songs we choose on Spotify, for example, often are the ones we chose yesterday. Hmm, I need to hear a little Norah Jones this morning, we might think as we sip our coffee and ready ourselves for the day. Or we turn up the volume on James Brown as we scamper around the kitchen making burgers for a bbq. These music choices shape our mood and guide our stories, just as the choice of a yoga teacher shapes and guides us. We choose to be influenced by specific songs and people, literature, movies, tastes, words. Yet, sometimes, without even realizing it, we could use a different song, a different rhythm, and a different teacher that can awaken us in new ways. Why not break out the Bulgarian Choral music for a change? Or what might happen inside of us if we were to turn off the Norah Jones even when we craved it, and put on the Flaming Lips? At a certain point, it doesn’t really matter what music we put on, as long as we really listen, and discover something new inside the music. The same is true for yoga teachers.Find the epiphanies hiding in the approach of new teachers. Asheville donation yoga is a great place to start.
Hot Yoga Asheville offers donation classes on Saturdays at noon, featuring an array of talented teachers. This way you can experience a sampling of different teachers as you explore Asheville yoga. I get excited if I see that one of my favorite teachers will be teaching at a time when I might be able to juggle my life in a way that allows me to make the class. Other times, when I see a window of time that does not coincide with a favorite teacher, I sigh and think, ah well, maybe another day. Yet, every once in a while, I go anyway, and every time, I have learned something extraordinary. In fact, sometimes, especially if I venture out of my teacher comfort zone, I am reminded why I practice in the first place: to inhabit my own body, mind and spirit in a fuller way. “Squeeze your knees together,” said one of these teachers, when I leaned back into fixed firm position, and suddenly I understood the pose in a whole new way. Each teacher brings their own unique style and presence to the practice, but in the end, yoga is about you and your intentions. Sometimes your celebrity teacher may even distract you from this purpose. I have found this to be true. But don’t take my word for it. Try a new teacher. I almost promise that you will learn something completely new.