Dear yoga teacher: Please shut up.



What is it about ‘spiritual’ people that’s so annoying?

Many would say that what I see in others is what I see in myself, or some crap like that.

Or that I’m not really comfortable with myself, so I’m uncomfortable around those in the know.

To which I say, maybe, but certainly I know bullshit when I see and hear it.

Months ago, back in LA, I had plenty of motivation to call out an entire profession and unconscious culture, but it took eight weeks of galavanting around SE Asia to really get the inspiration I needed.

That day was today, when I went to attend a Advanced Vinyasa class at a respected studio in Bali, Indonesia.

From the moment I arrived I knew it was going to be a head scratcher when the teacher said we didn’t need our mats today.

“Great,” I thought to myself, another lecture, but it was even WORSE than expected. The teacher pulled out her notes and started talking about something she clearly knew nothing about (which is why she needed the notes.)

Hint: Anytime a yoga teacher pulls out their note pad, pull out your car keys and go the fuck home.

I’m sure she meant well as she led the class through a dynamic meditation, or a bunch of clowns breathing, screaming and acting like fools.

Look I understand. You’re encouraging people to get out of their comfort zone. Let the energy flow. Be free!

All cool. But do it on your own damn time. Not on mine.

I didn’t wake up early to surround myself with ridiculousness.

I woke up to do yoga, you know, the kind that’s been done for thousands of years. Not listen to you babble and pretend to know what I and the world need.

Had I stayed I probably would’ve learned something about myself, well I suppose I did..

That I’m a dick with an intolerance for stupidity, and all of the shouting, screaming and yoga in the world won’t change that.

For people that are supposed to be so non judgmental I could hear their thoughts about how rude or not connected I was as I gathered my things and sprinted the fuck out of there, laughing all the way.

I was joined by one or two others that clearly were as annoyed as me, (nice to know I won’t be rotting in hell alone.)

While some might think I’m being insensitive or closed minded, I respect your opinion.

No I don’t, I respect people that listen to themselves and do what they want in this measly life.

And the most spiritual thing one can do is to refuse to waste a second of it on someone else’s plan.

If yoga is on the schedule, teach yoga.

You remember? Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi. Let’s get those down first.

As in before your daily revelation, affirmation, intention and summary of existence.

And it’s certainly not just here in paradise, increasingly going to a yoga class is a lot like playing russian roulette.

Maybe you’ll win and maybe you’ll lose, depends on the teacher and what their morning meditation revealed to them.

Anyone that says, “yoga is always a good idea,” probably owns the studio.

OK maybe I’m being too critical. Maybe I should give people more rope to hang themselves with?

Or I should tie the noose myself?

Either way it seems the quality of yoga teachers or spiritual guides is rapidly diminishing.

I have plenty of observations as to why.

Mainly that most teachers are still seekers.

That’s why many got certified to teach in the first place.

They thought it would help them find themselves, or that it would take them further along on their personal journey towards spiritual success.

But yoga school is just like any other school, you get what you give and there is no guarantee that what you learn is going to help you navigate life any easier.

In fact, most people on Earth are not doing what they’re destined for.

Much of the confusion in society comes from creative people living intellectual lives, intellectuals living professional lives and spiritual people..I don’t know what they’re doing (and I don’t think they do either!)

I suppose like anything the 80/20 rule applies to teaching yoga also. As in 80% of people suck and 20% are ok, a few are great.

Perhaps I’m spoiled by having a teacher and training that was as authentic and legitimate as they come.

Of course this also is a matter of opinion but there are certain attributes I think most can agree are necessary to lead a quality practice.

Since you asked here they are:

  1. Consistency- You know what you’re going to get. No exceptions.
  2. Creativity- They keep it interesting. Even if it is the same sequence and vernacular, each class is a totally new experience.
  3. Clarity- The teacher actually has some real life intelligence, not just memorization from their teacher manual or the book they skimmed that morning.

That’s it. Well I’m sure there is more, but baby steps, let’s give others a chance to catch up.

I know what you’re thinking, who the hell is this dude and what gives him the right to be so harsh?

Well someone has to do it!

The rest of these idiots will just go along with whatever the ‘teacher’ says.

It takes hutzpah to be real. The world is constantly distracting you from your true emotions and feelings.

And I cherish honesty in thought, feelings and actions, probably because its so rare.

Not coincidentally I’ve found above all the best teachers are totally honest with themselves and their students, even when its difficult, especially when it’s difficult.

So instead of being dissuaded by my recent disappointments in no less than seven different yoga teachers (and five studios) I’ll be more encouraging and vocal for those that are doing the dirty deed of practicing what they preach and I’ll probably be teaching more too..









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