I struggle. I’m the least flexible yoga teacher I know. I’ve gained 30 pounds in the past few months and I can see my swollen belly poking out further than my hips or pubic bone creating a puff in high waisted jeans. I no longer have a concave area in my chest and cannot see the length of my backbone. You cannot see my ribs. To me, these are struggles–yet when I look at life and all its offerings–these are not struggles. But ego sets in… I feel a sinking feeling in my stomach and want to squeeze something so hard, squeeze the stress and pounds out of my body like dough falling out of a tube. That’s the funny thing about body dysmorphia and self-revulsion—it’s never enough, I am never enough. I really have to work every day to stop this resounding vibration that I send to myself. I am not a victim. You are not a victim. We are all so big.
But, I find the constant re-emergence of this theme—my education is not enough, i am not enough at my job, my yoga classes are not enough–like a lighthouse spinning round and round yet not protecting me from any rocky beach. I don’t pack a full house in my yoga classes but choose to teach slow times because of the fear of failure in a popular night class. I hold on to comments forever that worry me–like hints of selfishness or detachment or that I think I’m more evolved than others and I realize I do spend so much time thinking about myself in space. Ego sets in.
What I find in others to bother to fret about is what I have not integrated about myself—I can be hard to get along with, I can be hard to supervise. I can be any crappy thing that any other person can be. We can all be self-involved. Sometimes, we need to be. And through the freedom of yoga, I learn that I am divine and self-involvement is universal involvement—let go of separation and know that what you do for you will in turn be given to the universe.
Yoga attracts those who have had to overcome huge personal mountains and I don’t expect us all to live in love and light. That’s not how it works. But I am hopeful for understanding, for integration. That person over there, that studio here, that yucky feeling inside, that crappy weather outside—that is you, that is me. I’ve had all these experiences and my weight will ebb and flow and my life will ebb and flow. This is mantra for myself and for everyone else—I just am.
I do a lot of crummy things, and I do a lot of beautiful things, and I’m neither good nor evil, I just am. There is good, and there is evil, and here I am.