Why No Namaste For Me
I have been really unsettled lately by why I am doing what I am doing. Do you ever feel like this?
The catalyst was a comment on one of my yoga ads with the words “this saddens me”. It flicked a switch that had been turned off for such a long time, so I though I would share my enlightenment now that I have come out the other side.
The obvious un-evolved responses of why don’t people keep their comments to themselves, mind their own business and keep their opinions to themselves –ARE ALL OF THE THINGS THAT I BELIEVE WE SHOULD NOT DO. We should be able to express what we think in a way that either compliments or negates the things we are passionate about, so I am not looking for a quiet life. I also think that when you are unsettled by comments from other people, it is largely because you are not comfortable with some aspect of what you are doing and this calls for a review.
Yogis have always traversed modern yoga with a love hate perspective but there is currently a mass of articles on cultural appropriation suggesting that nothing we do in our middle class lifestyles will ever be enough to call our yoga – YOGA. What has unsettled me is that part of me agrees with this, a large part of me does not and has never wanted even the language of traditional yoga to infiltrate my teaching ( I still to this day have never used the word Namaste at any time in my yoga teaching or practice) and ultimately my distaste of received wisdom and ritual pretty much closes me off to much of the early teachings of pre modern yoga. I have never had a calling for yoga to become my way of life, I just want it to complement my day to day existence allowing me to be more physically capable, more mentally diverse, more spiritually active.
Listen! I watch love island, I eat meat and I wear a Rolex, who am I to claim Yoga, stepping on the toes of the East and its historical context? What I do know is that I believe in a certain type of religion but am not religious, I desire spiritual advancement but am not spiritual, I want to be a better person but do not want to devote myself to another persons doctrine. I know that the practice of Yoga brings me health and peace, that meditation brings me mental clarity and that these two things accumulatively have opened daily doors to self awareness. I am also a bloody good teacher and my life revolves around my ability and capability to do this.
This is enough. I have no need for namaste, constant insincere gratitude and I have permanently erased this emoji – in favour of love and kindness. Truly authentic is more important to me than yoga authentic, how can we ever achieve that?
If you get beaten down or loose your way every now and then, take the time to investigate why and make a plan. This is still the very best career pathway that we have chosen, it just takes hard work and dedication to keep it going.