On Saturday, Seane Corn came to teach at my home studio:
YogaWorks in SoHo, NYC. I’ve taken one workshop with her before and really
enjoyed it. Plus, we see each other around on the conference circuit. So, since
she was right in my ‘hood, I decided to enroll in her weekend classes on
When I arrived on my mat, multiple people, some of them my
regular students, came up to me with baffled looks on their faces. “Why are you
here?” someone said, as if I had nothing left to learn.
My answer was the same as it always is at moments like this:
“I know what I know. I want to find out what I don’t know yet!” And I learned a
lot, or as Seane might say, I remembered
more of what I already know in her daylong sessions.
I’m proud to show my students that my role as a teacher
doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped being a student. Knowledge is fluid and always evolving,
just like I am, and my teaching will mature and shift as I do.
I refuse to hide my process of studentship for fear that my
students will think I’m less of a teacher. I’m confident in my abilities and my
unique perspectives on yoga, so I rest in my truth, and let others think what
It reminded me to remind you that life gets so much easier
when you stop seeking approval from those around you and instead focus on
accessing your deepest truth, or satya. If you lose your center the moment
someone else has an unfavorable opinion of you, you’ll become everything for
everyone, but very little of yourself.
When I began teaching yoga, I would change the way I taught
based on every student’s critique. In one month, it led me to teach faster,
teach slower, talk less, talk more, make it easier, make it harder, and on and
on. It was maddening, and my truth was lost in the quest to please everyone.
Nowadays, I come into a workshop, speak my truth (which is not the only truth), give them a million percent
of what my spirit is directing me to offer, and then I go home. Most people
love it, a few think it’s pretty good, and there’s almost always one who can’t
stand me.And you know what?
It used to bother me for days if I got negative feedback
from someone. But as I teach more, I see that will always be the case, no
matter how I change my message. So I stick to my core. Finally, I’ve learned to
go into any classroom with one intention: I’m not here to cater…I’m here to
In your life, you can spend all your time and energy shape shifting
to accommodate everyone’s needs or you can focus on living from your center. This
is the exact moment when taking it personally transforms into the practice of giving it personally…
…and you need no one’s stamp of approval but your own to do
Have you ever over-compromised your truth to please those around you? What happened when you decided to be
Core Pose: Crossed Navasana with Fists of Fire
This is one of my signature Core Poses. It’s meant to draw
you out of your head and down into your center.
Come into a cross-legged position like Sukhasana (Easy Pose).
Place one foot in front of the other. Inhale, roll forward as you reach up, and lift the hips a few inches off the mat. Exhale, roll onto your sitting bones, engage the navel and
low back in and up as you lift knees and feet higher. Repeat 5 to 10 times, then end in a forward fold from Easy Pose.