Yoga, for better or worse…

The last time I came across students who cried was in primary school, when they’d forgotten about homework, wait a minute, think it was kindergarten… Here I am, a grown-up, witnessing it all over again as a student with a yoga studio, except now it felt like my fellow yogis were shedding tears for what I would call “tough love”…
So I finally joined a proper yoga studio and started on my journey to potential enlightenment. This has gotten me thinking about what makes a good yoga teacher whom I could follow on this lifelong journey? Ask different yogis and you will get different answers. What I see in a teacher would not be what you look for in yours. My yoga teacher was definitely not for everyone. He could be, how do I put it diplomatically… unpleasant? Old school and fixated on his view (or passion for yoga) to the point of being crazy… Hurdle #1.
Then came the inevitable injuries caused by misalignment of asanas, imprecise movements of muscles, hyper-extension of joints, etc. – had never known that I could make so many mistakes with this machine of mine called body till I took on yoga seriously. The question is what’s next after that neck or back breaking injury was sustained during practice? Do you give up altogether because yoga caused you pain or would you actively seek out solutions and continue to pursue your tough love? Hurdle #2.
The asanas’ Sanskrit names, do I even need to go there. I had tried memorizing them and it was tough to say the least. The 20-syllabus names just would not register. My TTC examination is round the corner, I could only pray hard that I could recognize some, if not all. Hurdle #3.
The bottom line is, yoga is tough love, at least for me. At times, I do appreciate a little craziness in a teacher, especially when his/ her craziness was due to passionate, devoted love for yoga. Other times, I wish I was more knowledgeable about human anatomy with a knack for foreign language so that I could be a better student. When all is said and done, the benefits of yoga outweigh the hurdles. The late yoga guru, B.K.S. Iyengar aptly pointed out, “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured”.
It’s yoga for me, for better or worse…
Carolyn (200hr Yoga TTC 07/14 Weekend)

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