I taught a really unfortunate yoga class last night.
For those of you who are teachers you’ll likely know exactly what this feels like, I’m sure, but for those of you who are not let’s paint a quick picture.
Imagine for a moment that you’re standing in front of a group of people who have all paid to be there, and you’ve decided to learn to speak in tongues on this very special evening. These people gathere are not of a religious organization who might appreciate your apparent schizophrenic and spontaneous connection to the divine however, as they have come to hear about the placement of feet and hands and arms and eyes and breath. You, fittingly, can’t seem to remember the name of body parts at all, or insist on confusing your feet with your hands and can’t remember left from right to save your soul.
Okay, I think and hope that perhaps it wasn’t that bad, as nobody left the room, but it certainly wasn’t the enjoyable, fluid, meaningful experience I have been working to offer in my classes. It was one of those situations where you just wish you could have a bit of a do-over. A do-over of exactly one hour and fifteen minutes in length.
I suppose the most disturbing part of the whole thing was not the class itself or whether those people left thinking I was questionably intelligent, but that this morning I decided to take this ‘failure’ and use it as hard, cold evidence in the case that my wounded ego sometimes makes that I have no idea what I’m doing, and should just give up now on everything.
(Just a disclaimer as well: I have been teaching yoga for all of about, um…two months? I am certainly at no level of mastery in this instruction, and yet still can’t seem to give myself a break in the learning and developing process. Highly typical behavior.)
And so for the last half hour I have been sitting at my computer contemplating whether or not I should move away (I kid you not), quit teaching yoga, and/or go back to school to learn it all over again. Thank you ego, you have proven yourself a silly informant once again.
I know my ego very well, and she’s very, very sensitive and highly impressionable, jumping all sorts of guns before the race has even been understood. She has been very sad, very hurt, and very assured that the world was out to get her, and so automatically seeks justification to stay in that tiny, enclosed space, mistaking her confinement for protection.
Thankfully she doesn’t run the show anymore (or at least for not any longer than 20-30 minutes at a time, until the rest of me wakes up enough to remember who’s in charge), and so I can see the truth in this situation instead of reacting or responding habitually. I am not a failure, even as I have a failure (or 10,000, like Edison…), except when I refuse to move beyond it and/or when I let it define my worth in the world. I am learning, and that is wonderful.