There Is No Show – Reflections On Life and Yoga By Amy
Amy; beauty and yoga inside and out!
The essay you are about to read was written by Amy, one of Spira’s amazing teachers. The beauty of her writing, the rhythmic undulations of her thoughts completely engulfed me, she is truly beauty and yoga inside and outside! Amy teaches mostly morning classes at Spira, she also has a lovely pilates studio that keeps her very busy, along with two young boys! She is a joy to know, and certainly a gift in my life. -Dora – owner of Spira Power Yoga
"There is no show."
These words ring through my head at least once a day, if not many times throughout the day. At first, it might seem like the meaning of the words are unclear; something an entertainer might say on a night off. But, believe me, they represent something much bigger than that – something that everyone can take a little piece of. Here it is:
There is no show.
In my yoga teacher training almost 4 years ago now, my mentor and friend, Dora, approached me in a morning all-levels class when I was in a down-dog. She laid down on the floor next to me, she put her face right under mine, directly in my line of sight, and said these words to me, “Amy, there is no show.”
When she said it, she meant it. She didn’t know that it would resonate so deeply and for so long with me.
Almost immediately, tears began streaming down my face, seemingly for no reason.
What do you mean?
How can there be no show?
Then, what am I practicing for?
How will I get praise?
How will I get better?
How will I feel successful?
How will I know that I’ve done it?
That I’ve made it?
That I’ve reached some intangible yogic goal?
Sounds silly maybe, but don’t we all have some of these thoughts throughout our practice?
Plus, it’s the only way my dancer body knew how to move.Prepare for the show. Rehearse, learn, explore, try new things, let them resonate, change them and finally, perfect my choices and perform.
Well, there is no show.
Yoga is not a show.
Say it out loud.
There. Is. No. Show.
Today and everything that happens in this day are not a rehearsal for tomorrow’s events. It’s happening – right now, right here. It’s your practice. It’s a way to train your mind.
Next week is not practice for next month.
This coming weekend is not a run-through for a holiday or “special” weekend to come.
The Spring is not here to “prepare for summer.”
It’s so easy to get caught up in preparing for an event – whether it’s a vacation or a concert or a night out. And when we’re busy in our minds and in our actions preparing for that thing -that show, it’s easy to forget the now.
What’s happening now? Well, it’s happening all around us … every day. While you’re in your car. While you’re making lunch. While you’re at work – interacting with others. While you’re worrying about that one thing. While you’re scanning Facebook.
Its life … and it’s happening constantly.
It’s happening now.
Shit. Well, now what?
Here’s what happened to me when I began to come to terms with the fact that there is no show.
I noticed more.
Not in a cheesy way.
Not in a stopping to smell the roses and other clichés way.
But in a real way.
I move a bit slower.
I am more kind.
I have more patience.
I question my actions before reacting.
I forgive myself when I screw up.
I own my mistakes.
And I notice when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m lonely, frustrated, proud, hurt, inspired and ecstatic. I feel more here. I’m not rehearsing. I’m not getting ready to perform. I’m just me. My yoga has bled firmly into my life. I’m me with my U2, my Alicia Keyes, my Black Eyed Peas and my Norah Jones. And it feels so freeing.
I will fall. I fall all the time. On my mat and off. And I am still planning. Planning vacations, concerts, nights out, new hip openers, new abdominal workouts, all of it. But I am here, in the present, living, breathing and learning more about myself every moment that I am aware and mindful.
Please don’t take this as arrogance … I so fiercely don’t intend this to be interpreted that way.
In fact let me say it a different way …
Suppose we thought of everything as a show.
Right? I mean, don’t we all put on a show when we put on our yoga clothes and try to make them match our toenail color (maybe not some of our male clientele, but you get my meaning)? Or when we have our friends over for dinner and we try to pretend that our house is always that clean? Or when we’re out in public with our kids and they’re not acting exactly appropriately? And we scold them to let others know that our kids don’t usually do that. You know, that’s not normal behavior for them.
Isn’t it all a show sometimes?
Wouldn’t it all just be a little bit easier if we let go and let it be our practice? Sometimes I feel like I have to practice having people over to my house when its not ready to be shown to a real estate agent clean. And then I have to practice letting go of my own judgment. And I have to practice trusting that my friends will love me regardless of the laundry that needs to be folded.
So, I suppose there is no show and thank goodness! Because if there was a show, when would it start, and when would it end? Does it start when we we’re in front of others? That’s scary. Then what is it when we’re not? Or when we’re just with our kids and/or our spouse or significant other? Or are we even practicing for that show (the nonexistent one) when we’re alone? Pretending that maybe someone is watching us? Judging us? Rating us?
“Wow, she’s a really great mom!”
“Wow, she really does incredible meal planning.”
“Wow, I’m so impressed with how calm she can be even in that stressful situation.” Doesn’t it take away some of the authenticity of our actions if we’re doing it for others and not ourselves? To impress others with our show? To be able to present them with the finished product whether it’s our showered and dressed selves or our clean, beautiful house or even our incredibly perfect and focused yoga practice? It’s hard to write this… To let people know that sometimes crazy things go through my head and I’m not always the epitome of a Yogi that I long to be.
But this is my Satya. My truth. My authenticity. It’s a struggle, but it’s my practice. And I’m sharing it because it’s been so overwhelmingly positive in my life to let go. To be in the practice. And not in the show. To forgive myself when I make mistakes. To honor myself when I need time alone. And to smile and enjoy life a lot more often knowing that I’m not rehearsing for the show.
I am living in my practice every single day.
Every single moment.
Every single yoga class. There is no show.
Let me be clear. My intention here is to offer this idea in case you too are judging yourself, or trying to impress someone or something with your amazing yoga skills, or clean house; that maybe the words “there is no show” can offer you some relief.
Relief to be YOU … in all your glory!
I invite you to try it … you might like it. 😊
There is no show! But there is practice.
See you on your mat.