I explained the quote that I was going to theme my class around and Erica said, "No. What are you going to give your dharma talk around?"
"Umm... I don't really have anything that I need to talk about today," I said. "I'd rather get everyone in their bodies right away."
I later got to thinking.
Why are yoga teachers expected to instill knowledge into their students? Should yoga teachers sit there talking for 15 minutes on a topic of their choice? Is it our job as yoga teachers to try and get our students on board with our opinions?
Don't get me wrong, I love a good dharma talk here and there. Most teachers set out to inspire through their talks with nothing but positive, pure intentions.
But that's not the teacher that I want to be. If there's anything I've learned through my years of yoga, it's that gurus are capable of doing more harm than good to yoga. Bikram Choudhury allegedly used his influence to rape and sexuality assault countless women. Anusara's John Friend slept with former employees and was accused of financial misconduct. Even the Beatles' guru, Maharisi Mahesh Yogi was accused of sexual misconduct (which was never proved), when he was supportively celibate, inspiring the song, "Sexy Sadie."
When I first started practicing, I idolized my teachers. I couldn't understand how these people got so freaking cool, strong, and enlightened. I couldn't imagine ever teaching a class. At some point, my yoga bliss bubble was popped. I realized that my teachers were just as screwed up as anyone else I knew, likely even more so.
While yoga is meant to destroy or lessen the ego, popular yoga teachers get completely wrapped up in their own egos.
Becoming popular leads to tons of praise, often completely blowing up the head of the teacher. Popularity yields countless potential sexual partners for some, which often leads to a whole lot of drama.
If there's one thing I've learned, it's that there is no difference between the teacher and the student. We all have something to teach one another.
This week, commit to being your own guru. Strive to connect your heart, body and mind in your practice. We practice to tap into our heart spaces just a little bit deeper. Listen to you, no one knows you better than you do. Be your own guru.