This was a comment made to me while I was at a coffee cupping the other evening. I was talking about teaching yoga (as I always do) and trying to drum up some interest in my new classes when the lady I was speaking to said “‘You don’t look like a yoga teacher!’. This got me thinking, most statements like this do…What does a yoga teacher look like anyway?
Are we supposed to be airy fairies, with long flowing skirts and flowers in our hair? Make-up-less with no deodorant? Or decked out in the latest Sweaty Betty/Lululemon attire, completely swathed in lycra or luon or whatever else it is they make leggings out of these days. Should I have killer abs, and amazing biceps? Picture perfect hair with the all natural, ‘I am wearing but you will never know’ makeup?
Heck, if any of you know me, you know I knock around in the first thing I find clean on the floor and more often than not, my hair will be thrown up into a bun and I am dragging myself and Q out of the door, trying not to be late. You see, I am a normal person, I am human. Yes, I teach yoga. Yes, I do wear Sweaty Betty and Lululemon on occassion, but hey, they are comfy and I like them and they may have breakfast/lunch/dinner somewhere on them as well. I try to have that ‘I am wearing but you will never know’ made up face (VERY VERY rarely ha!) and no, I don’t think I have ever worn flowers in my hair, bar that time I was 5 and my cousin made me a daisy chain. Deodorant is a must and no, I definitely don’t have killer abs (I’ve had a kid, after all!) and my biceps are a bit more defined than they used to be but that’s from Chaturangas and Dolphin pose.
The point is, I teach yoga because I love it. I practice yoga because I love it. Not because I am some cookie cutter image of what someone ‘thinks’ a yoga teacher should look like or sound like or dress…I am just me and that is ok. I, too, used to fear the ‘yogis’ in a class. I was nervous that I didn’t look like them, that I had too much belly fat. And then I plucked up enough courage to go to a class. Well, hello, normal people! There were mammas and dads and tall people and short people and people with 0% body fat and people with body fat-NORMAL people. What a revolution. So please, don’t not go to a class because you think you may not be the ‘right’ type for it or be shocked when someone says that they teach/practice/live/eat/breathe yoga-it is just them and that is grand.