Friday, October 19, 2012

Aw, so tough mann!

I am pissed, at being a yoga instructor when I rather be a practitioner.. yes, some days, I really really feel like that. I hate that I must judge students who keep asking for more without seeming to exert at all.  I feel like a performing monkey who is trying to please the students because I am soooo giving.. AAAAAhhhhh...I hate it because the student is being mentally flaccid, and flabby. I hate irregularity of attendance. I wish I could say, don't come.
As usual, when I do not blog, it is because I am irritated with myself for giving so much and exhausting myself... why cannot I give to myself, as much as to others... and then, to come out like I am haranguing them...and be hated for that..
  • I hate irregularity of attendance. I wish I could say, don't come. I hate it because this is an indication of indiscipline and that is not yoga. 
  • I hate late attendance.. a peculiar Mumbai problem. I hate it because it indicates a lack of being mentally organised and that is evident on the mat and why do I need to struggle with this!!
  • I  hate it when `advanced' students think of themselves as advanced students. Whatever that is.. nobody is really an advanced student. U could do the scorpion, but flunk in the forward bend.. and if u did both perfectly, your attitude could stink. I hate it, really, when some flexible students think they have reached it. REally advanced students can do yoga anywhere, are aware of the rise of the ego, and learn to step back from it immediately, are sharing (of space, attention, and energy) and first of, do not see themselves as advanced. So few that way...
  • I hate it when I point out an obvious mistake and students act as if they do not understand. I realise this is because there is immense flabbiness of the mind. I feel helpless, inept, as a teacher. I hate that the students make me feel like that, that their shortcomings strain me.
  • I hate it when students see themselves as customers. I do not have to explain why, because they learn so little, that attitude drags them down. 
  • I hate it when students hedge for a bargain. That is so obvious for me, that they will not get some poses that they love, because the cosmic energy also hedges and does not give. I feel helpless, because they not only block my attempts to advance them, but block themselves, stupidly. 
  • I hate it when they pay the fee late.. not because they do not have money, but because they are slack or made a habit of it, or feel smarter if they pay late. Again, u can see how they will not heal, or block themselves from certain pose, because the cosmic energy also wants its laugh:) 
  • I hate students taking long breaks, and come back having lost form. They think they can catch up... indiscipline is indiscipline, delayed or otherwise...
  • I hate it when students want to theorise. That means they want to cut down on practice.... and usually happens with students who cannot do some poses -- headstand and crow, a lot of garbage u need to deal with...And Indians, we have become experts on theorising -- politics, religion, civic sense.. 
  • I hate questions in class, unnecessarily, because this means the student wants to look smart rather than be smart. For the same above reason. 
  • I hate it when students avoid the starting and finishing prayers. They will find that again,the energy from the tradition ( in this case, of Sivananda school) will not lift them up, because they do not align with it. 
  • I hate it when they become bored in pranayama. Pranayama needs an evolved mind, sophistication. How to tell boors to become sophisticated. 
  • I hate it when they look at themselves in the mirror  (I have a large one at my studio and woe me:( and I hatte it when they keep preening. I hate it because I know they will never be able to do the headstand or crow, because that preening is an indication of the extroversion of the mind. 
  • I hate it when people insist on discussing illnesses in class -- this again, creates a negative loop, is an indication the student sees u as a parent who must spoil him or her, and also, terribly and truly enough, is a sign the person does not wish to leave the illness and has become attached to it. 

I hate a lot of things.. and I wish I could change this terrible attitude people come with, into a yoga class. 
And the terrible thing for me is that everything I have mentioned above, I have tried to convey into my class.. obviously that will not make me a popular yoga teacher. And whether u put it gently or rudely, u still come out as a `bad' teacher! 

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But I feel I am doing right. I am not just teaching physical exercises. I am teaching an attitude. I am teaching pure yoga. I believe, this is the way my guru would have wanted me to teach, popularity be damned! But did he also get hate mail when he ticked off people..? Did people call him names, or dropped out, as if to punish me for changing a pattern they was crushing them? Or worse, stayed on, to punish him by continuing to remain in their mental muck? 

But now  I believe, he wants me to be good to myself too.. maybe, then, I should stop caring that people are like this only... and stop bothering to change anybody.. maybe I too should become a fake yoga teacher, and become famous and rich..:) 

I wish..


Anonymous said...

dear shameem ji,

i sometimes try and go through a lot of your posts. and then i regularly come across this type of post.

you are a yogini! a teacher! a guru! an evangelist! someone who 'gives' and 'shares' and yet!

this same being who is obviously at a much higher plane than the unfortunate souls who come to class/ learn/ take/ etc etc. yet this same being talks of hate, dislike, restraint, exhaust, performing monkey, tells students (customers/whatever etc)DONT COME, wishes they drop out/ go away/ acerbic comments!!

is this a teachers attitude! if they had the appropriate attitude would they come to you? would they need to learn? wouldnt they be in a plane closer to you?

have you ever thought that these stupid/ slack/ flabby/ exhausting/ cheating/ customerish people coming to class may have a genuine need? that maybe they will become healthier/ fitter/ smarter/ conscientious/ attitudinal folks if u 'tolerated' them a while.
maybe they will understand/ get going in the right path/ find strength within/ overcome things/ themselves!

maybe not.thats a chance.
if you stop them/ hurt/ thwart/ dissua them, they will never get into yoga/ feel hurt by you/ feel hurt in general/ become negative in some way and you would have been able to prevent all that.

this is a perspective. you are a facilitator type or someone who shows a path or guides/ helps/ teaches! if you stop/ restrict people based on your desires how is it helping?

just a thought from a third person, who observes, has incomplete knowledge but sees the power and impact you can have!

the post moved me .

Shameem Akthar said...

Obviously your idea of goodness is all in the realm of theory. I am an author of three books, and when I say something like this, it is a sharing. It means unlike others, I have deliberately dumped a perch, a pedestal and a halo. That calls for guts. I am not talking hatred. I know a lot of yoga gurus who have a public halo and are horrendous in private or in class or with people. That is because the expectations, as you pen here, make them pretend. But what I write is a real journey of inner struggle. A lot of real people -- not textbook miss goody wannabe like you -- empathasise with what I share here and see that trying to be good is really tough is clear that your idea of goodness is still all just a vague theory -- for someone seeking to practice it, like I am struggling with, this is the way it goes.. that it involves a lot of struggle.. and when someone is as giving as I am, this becomes so tough that people only want to take more and they will hate u, including for being good!! .. and the pain of that is what is being said here. Obviously all this is not visible to you.. and u are seeing hatred where others see love. U will not understand that.and u can keep preaching where I keep practising something so intense that only those who are headed my way will understand..
so your last line, while it may make confer a nice halo on your head, it leaves me cold:) .