The Importance of having a Teacher
Staying accountable to yourself and your Yoga practice
Lately, I've been very unmotivated to practice. Bored! But I'm not worried. I've been here before.
Of course I still practice. Every day. I have a teacher. He keeps me accountable to myself and to my sadhana. It's the times like these that really make it obvious why we all need a teacher. When we're weak, shaky and just lost in the struggle, it's the teacher, their voice and their belief in us, that keeps us going.
The beautiful, somewhat magical thing about this is that you don't have to be physically in the presence of your teacher for it to work. The dialogue, be it in person or in your head, plays out the same. You can hear them calling you out on your bullshit, and firmly saying to you "Yes, you can!" even when all of you is screaming "No." They ask "Did you practice?" and you respond: "Maybe..." "No." "Yes!"
Their questioning comes from a place of love. And deep down you know this, yet you can't help but feel angry and irritated with them. You try to reason with yourself, but logic fails at such moments. And you try to explain only to fail again. By now you're even angrier than you were when all of this started. "Where is their empathy?", you ask yourself. "Why aren't they nice?!"
The frustration, disappointment and doubt arise. They amplify, as a matter of fact. They're supposed to. And yes, it is really fucking uncomfortable to sit with it all, but you're supposed to. It's part of the journey. Those difficult, ugly and most often unwanted feelings, thoughts and emotions are just as important to our spiritual growth as are rainbows and unicorns. We forget that sunshine and butterflies appear after we've braved the storm.
So you sit and watch as the winds, rain and hail whip you. You sit and let it all play out. You keep questioning, and in return your teacher questions more. You keep resisting, and in return your teacher keeps reminding you to breathe. You break down, they help you stand up. You fall again, and yet again they prop you back onto your feet.
Eventually, in the midst of dusting the dirt of your knees, you find yourself wondering: "What am I projecting?!"
It's still raining. But there is a rainbow in the distance...
Join Jelena Vesic and her teacher David Robson at the upcoming May 19-26 Ashtanga Yoga Retreat in Salento