I'm still trying to find my place in the yoga community. I haven't really found a "home" in a studio yet. I guess I'd describe myself as a studio nomad.
My schedule in-consistent, so I hop around based on whatever time and location works for me that day, and whatever style I'm in the mood for.
Every studio and teacher has their own unique style, but there is one thing they pretty much all have in common, and that's a welcoming energy. I've never felt any kind of judgement or exclusiveness in a yoga studio before...until recently.
Here's an experience I had the other day:
I go to take a class at a yoga studio that I've been to a few times before in the past.
I stop at the front desk to check in and am not given a friendly greeting or a smile.
I give the girl behind the desk my name,
and our exchange goes as follows:
"Are you a yoga teacher?"...
"No," I explained "I'm not currently a yoga teacher but I am going for training in July"...
"Just so you know, we don't teach yoga teachers here"... "We've had too many people trying to steal our shit"...
I was utterly baffled.
Her tone and demeanor were harsh and disapproving. It felt like a door slamming in my face.
Am I being accused of being some kind of yoga spy?
Is this an actual thing?
Do they ask everyone that walks through the door this question?
I had never heard of anything like this before. This was the first time I was ever asked this question, and it made me feel really weird.
When I questioned her why, she explained that their sequence is copy written, they receive special training in New York, and that people have even stolen their playlists...
I have to laugh imagining this happening in my current job as a hairstylist.
Guest: "Hi, I'd like a shampoo, cut and blowdry.
Stylist: Are you a hairstylist?
Guest: No but I'm going to beauty school soon.
Stylist: Just so you know, we don't cut other stylists hair here. We receive special training and
don't want anyone stealing our technique
Here's the thing:
I understand that the yoga industry is over saturated and that everyone has their signature thing to set them apart from others. If that is their policy, that they don't teach yoga teachers, I respect their choice. Unfortunately what it sounded like from a customer standpoint was "you can't sit with us."
Good vibes were not received.
Most of us come to yoga looking for relief from the all drama and other crap we have to deal with in our lives. Walking into a yoga studio should feel like an accepting and sacred place.
Reflecting on it now, I'm not sure why I still paid and stayed to take the class. I think I was just stunned and a little confused. It was seemed pretty clear that I wasn't welcome there, and I wasn't able to shake those bad vibes the entire class or for awhile after.
Did I misinterpret the tone of her voice?
Did I imagine she was giving me an attitude?
Was I playing victim?
Another lesson learned.
"Take nothing personal", the second of the four agreements, clearly needs more enforcement in my life. (If you have never read the four agreements, I highly recommend you check it out.)
This small exchange I had with that girl, really opened my eyes.
First, I referenced back to the book The Four Agreements, and realized I totally took this personal. Funny how we can do that without even realizing. This incident triggered a response in me that sent me into a funk for a few days.
And you know who's responsible for that?
No one else is responsible for your feelings but you.
Maybe she didn't mean to come off that way, maybe it was just the way I interpreted it. Maybe it's not even her rule and she's just the messenger. Maybe we have two different stories, in fact I'm sure we do.
Who knows. Who cares. Because we aren't responsible for other peoples thoughts and emotions, we are only responsible for ourselves. Only we have control over our reactions. Just because someone throws negative energy your way doesn't mean you have to let it stick to you. Let that shit bounce off. And continue letting your light shine.
Secondly, I caught myself being less then chipper to customers at work since then and thought back to this experience. What is my facial expression communicating? How am I causing other people to feel when I'm not so friendly or patient with them? What kind of vibes am I putting out? I'm making real efforts to take responsibility for myself and the energy I'm emanating, for instance: rolling my eyes a little less and smiling a little more.
You get back what you put out.
Take a deep breath, grow.
At the end of the day,
I took it personal.
Thankfully, there are plenty of other studios around where I am welcome.
Because regardless if I am going to teacher training, I'll always still be a student first.
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