Confessions of an Anxious Yoga Teacher…
Albert demonstrating being anxious about the future…
A lot of things make me anxious…
Some of us have more anxiety than others, I have to admit, I had to learn how to handle anxiety. It was just the luck of the draw, somehow genetics and circumstances shaped me to be a bit more on edge. If you don’t know this about me you may probably never peg me for a nervous type. I am pretty sure I am not alone. We anxious folks have a variety of vails that we perfected. I can only speak for myself, I excel at the art of precision and overwork. I turn in my corporate taxes and my accounting sheet (completed till Dec. 31st) on January 2nd. I would turn it in on the first, but everybody seems to take that day off. My accountant finds this charming and alarming all at once. I carry a “to do” journal with me at all times and I make sure to prioritize and set ‘dates of necessary completions’ as well as ‘dates of optimal completion’ by each task. You may find this painful or funny, but it actually helps my anxiety to be organized. Somehow gaining control over things that I can influence helps. And not only does it reduce my anxiety, it also makes me a better business person.
Of course there are a lot of things that we don’t have control over. Here is where yoga helped me. “It takes one to know one.” I do believe that I am able to connect better and teach yoga better because I have studied the emotion of anxiety as it occasionally takes control over my life. Taking an hour to breathe, exercise in the same room with a community somehow helps me get out of my thoughts that seem to go nowhere except to drive my stress hormones up.
Yoga is the antidote to my anxiety. Anxiety is the gift that made me a better teacher. So if I follow logic, I may make myself nervous, that is, if I am no longer anxious, I would fall out of yoga practice ! 🙂 Now here is an odd statement that I never thought I would write: Thankfully anxiety tends to stay. We never quite get rid of it. (This has evolutionary reasons, anxiety has its place and can be a helpful tool. I will not go into that here. ) But we do learn to manage anxiety better. And managing it better makes me a better teacher. Thus indeed my imperfection is my gift.
I wanted to share this with you because I know, the beginning of the year is stressful. If you are self employed this stress is quadrupled. But no matter what your position, we do live in a world that we don’t fully understand. We need to hire people to understand our responsibilities such as taxes, insurance, loans, credits and so on. I am not sure why we had to complicate these things so much, but well, it is what it is. All of this complication leaves us feeling out of control. Leaves us feeling uncertain because we don’t, we can’t possibly understand everything.
I don’t have knowledge in any of these fields that I mentioned above, but teaching yoga taught me that letting people know that they are not alone with their struggles helps. It really, really helps when we don’t feel alone.
So there. You got an occasionally anxious yoga teacher, who tries to do her best to make sense of the world, but she is really happy that she does not have to do this alone. I hope coming to Spira makes you feel more relaxed, more supported and less anxious about your imperfections.
Thankfully we all have imperfections. Your journey is to simply figure out how to turn your imperfections into your gift.
Benjamin Franklin has the famous quote: “Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.” My version of this wisdom is:
Do not delay that which you can act on… Let the things go that you cannot control… And do share your experience of struggle so we don’t have to feel alone in the Universe… Nobody is perfect, but that’s what makes us special.
Love and Light, see you in the studio,