Stop Listening to Your Yoga Teacher

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I teach yoga for a living. I try to remind them that they should listen to themselves first and me second. As a teacher you’d think teaching myself would be easy. It’s not. The self-critical voice that tells me I’m not good enough, or the judgmental voice that likes to look at what’s wrong with stuff rather than what’s right always gets in the way. The best and simplest way I know how to be my own best teacher is to get still. Really still. And I don’t mean just stillness of body, but stillness of mind. It is in that stillness where I can hear myself more clearly. When you stop that incessant train of noise barreling through your head, when you can find the gap between the thoughts, there is a voice worth listening to. But that voice is below the surface. And most of us are too damn busy to even pay attention. You are not your thoughts. Thoughts are superficial experiences you have. Thoughts are the waves on top of the ocean. The stuff worth exploring is below the surface. It’s in the depths of the ocean, and being still is how I most easily access that space. It takes practice. And it is not an easy practice, but it is a worthwhile practice. Everything you desire is already there – it’s inside you. Being still takes courage and vulnerability and it requires you to tap into the side of yourself that doesn’t have all the answers. The world does not teach us how to do this. You must teach yourself. So do yourself a favor and stop listening to your yoga teacher. Start listening to yourself. If you don’t, no one else will.