I already know that some people will take this the wrong way. Reading back over this, there are times in my life when I would have taken it the wrong way. There are probably times yesterday when I would have taken this the wrong way. There are times tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year, that had I not been the author of this post, I would most certainly have taken it the wrong way. Maybe I’m glad I’m writing this so I can be the one to smack myself back into the reality that I am no better than anyone else and I should never use any means to make someone feel like less.
About nine or ten years ago, I started practicing yoga. About four years ago, I started studying the teaching of yoga. About four months ago, I started studying and analyzing the psychology and business of yoga. The practicing, for me, has been and will continue to be life changing. Yoga continues to teach me who I currently am and what I can grow to become. Teaching yoga continues to help me to find a way to offer authentic and genuine service to humanity. Studying the psychology and business of yoga, while interesting and inspiring, can also be quite a scary place.
Two of the scariest things I’ve discovered are inferiority and superiority. For whatever reason, some individuals in the yoga community (or any community for that matter) think they are less. This can drive them away from the yoga community, but can also ignite a drive to gain (and sometimes hoard) all they can: knowledge, clients, classes, etc. In a podcast from February 2, Rachel Brathen ( Yoga Girl ) discusses living from a place of less. I highly recommend listening because it reveals a great deal of the passive aggressive and petty behavior that can come from operating from a place of less. The really funny thing here is that this type of living, operating from less, often creates a sense of fear. This fear is what fuels the hoarding, the passive aggressive and petty behavior, and a sense of superiority. This superiority is rooted in fear and want, but is used as a front. The tricky thing about superiority is that the people who use it as a front start to believe it. They start to believe they are actually better than everyone else. They start to believe they are smarter. In the yoga community, the superior think their yoga is the real yoga, their students are the real students, and it is their duty to undermine and unmask the rest of the world of imposters.
Everyone is vulnerable to this sense of inferiority and superiority. In fact, in light of recent goings on in the yoga community, I made up this little graphic because I really wanted to post it. With someone’s name. Because I know better than them. ARRGGG. It’s so easy to get pulled into that. I allowed their behavior to make me feel like less, so I was going to front with this less than passive aggressive image:
Then I remembered what my dear teacher Liz explains any time she shares an ancient story: you are every character and every character is you. I could very easily put my own name in those brackets. This means that the toxicity I see in this person, is really toxicity I see in myself but don’t want to. REALITY CHECK. I’m no better than anyone else. This also means that the things I admire in this person and the rest of the yoga community, also reside within me. I can make the choice to feed the dark or I can feed and give energy to the light. I choose to feed the light. Light increases light. Operate from a place of abundance and that is what you will receive.
Sometimes, the struggle for us is how to maintain integrity while not being a doormat to the dark. Do you struggle with this?
How do you manage it?
In what ways do you experience the dark?
How do you beat it out with the light?
Think. Connect. Elevate.