Monday, September 17, 2012

Hi Ya!

Let's face it, we live in a pretty strict society. This isn't a political post about USA and freedom and such, I'm talking in more of a peer pressure sense. We (and I include myself 100% in this "we") care so much what other people think that we often push down our own needs and wants in order to "fit in".

Last week I took Alex to karate class. It is just a beginner's class, and the instructor began by saying "any of you moms you want to join in, please feel free." I really wanted to. I love learning new things and moving around screaming "hi ya!" seemed much more enjoyable than sitting on a hard plastic chair for an hour. But none of the other moms got up, so I stayed put. The entire class, I was thinking about this - wishing I had stood up and joined the kids in the line. But not wanting to be that "weird" lady who was punching and kicking with the 6 year olds. I wasn't ready to be labelled - especially being new in town and trying to grow a local business.

When did I begin to care so much what others thought over what I wanted? If I look at kids at various ages, it is clear to see the progression of societal influence. Babies don't care - they scream, throw, poop and dance when ever and where ever they want to. As the kids grow up we as parents try to help them fit in with society by letting them know when something is appropriate and when it isn't, which is essentially laying down the idea to conform to the majority. They take this idea to school where their peers are the majority and many begin to take it to extremes - either needing to be identical to everyone else or identical to no one else. And somewhere along the line we begin to balance out our version of "fitting in" and stop thinking about it - it just becomes our way of life.

What if we challenged it? How would our lives be different if we stepped back and recognized all of the things we do and don't do because of others? What would we do differently if we really listened to ourselves - what we wanted and didn't want? I am not talking about robbing banks here. Moreso the subtle things in our lives - like eating dessert when no one else wants any, or wearing a shirt your teenage daughter rolls her eyes at. Or learning how to do karate with a bunch of 6 year olds. Hmmm....

Monday, September 10, 2012

Happy Birthday

Today is it, the day I set in motion almost 2 years ago. Back when I was signing up for yoga teacher training, I always knew I wanted my own studio. Becoming a yoga teacher was never about just teaching in an established studio for me, it was about bringing yoga to a community that had been lacking. About making that initial introduction of yoga to the chronically stressed out. 

Starting something new is scary. There is equal opportunity for acceptance and rejection. 50/50. Kinda makes me want to come up with some excuse to not go through with it. But not this time. Yoga's biggest lesson to me has been to trust. Trust that I have what it takes to make something happen. Trust that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. Trust that there truly is no good/bad or acceptance/rejection - there just is what there is. If no one shows up to class today, it is what it is. If 20 people show up to class today, it is what it is. That internal labeling is what is scary, not the actual situation. Living up to expectations our Egos have fabricated for us. As long as I remember that, I know I will be fine. But sometimes knowing something with your brain isn't the same as knowing it with your heart.

The yoga community I come from is strong. Guidance for the newbies is shared between the teacher and the other yogis in the room. We work as a team to create a safe space where people can explore without feeling judged. Yet here I am, about to take on that role all alone. Yoga is just such an important part of my life, it has truly changed me. Introducing that to someone else can be intimidating, especially if there are no other yogis in the room to back me up that no one cares if you "look silly". How do I get people to let go all by myself? What if I don't get through to people and turn them off of yoga forever? What if I don't do this magnificent way of life justice? It's funny that my biggest fear is failing something that doesn't believe in failing. 

Success, failure, both, neither, whatever. Happy Birthday to Bent Yoga Studio.