I received a great message from the amazing Marianne Elliott the other day entitled “I have not practiced yoga for 5 weeks and why that makes me a better teacher”. Here is this amazing yogini, travelling the world doing her thing, and she openly admitted to not practicing yoga. For 5 weeks. Gasp, shock horror!
It was awesome to get such a real message from such an amazing person. She is human. Like all of us. I felt a sigh of relief. Someone else is not perfect.
In today’s society with the influx of social media, it is easy to believe that most people are living perfect lives. We look on facebook or twitter or follow blogs….and everyone seems to be doing everything that we can only aspire to achieve in one life time let alone one weekend. Crazy asana poses on beautiful beach resorts, sipping green smoothies and cooking kale soup, manifesting the most abundant life all whilst practicing an hour a day of meditation, running 10km and holding down a full time career saving babies. Other people’s lives rock.
The picture portrayed is often not realistic nor achievable without a personal chef, assistant and huge budget. So when Marianne admitted to not even rolling out her mat I felt like I was unbuttoning the top button on my jeans after Xmas lunch. Relieved.
There are normal human beings in this world after all. Thank the lord.
There is a growing wellness industry that is painting picture perfect scenarios of people’s lives – health and well being, deeper connection of body mind and soul, living life on purpose. I know, I am part of that industry. So why did I feel relieved to get Marianne’s message? It was real, it was honest, and it made me feel normal. Instead of posting a pic of her glamorous life at her book launch, she posted about how she had not practiced yoga. It made her a better teacher because she knows what it is like to get out of routine, to let a part of her life slip, and more importantly how to get back on track. She could then teach from a place that was real, as she had direct experience of what it was like when life just simply gets too much. For me, she is a perfect example of practicing what you preach. Acceptance, forgiveness and the ability to move on.
Of course we still all need the green smoothie, asana busting, marathon running people to follow on twitter, as lets face it, they are inspiring. But also every now and again, it is great to keep it real. To see how they handle it when it hits the fan in their life.
For me recently I have felt some confusion as things shift and change in my life, and I have been trying to sit with the uncomfortability of not knowing, of allowing things to unfold….a constant practice for me. I found myself getting caught in to thinking I should have it all sorted and together – shouldn’t we all – but then caught myself. I am human, I am real, and there will be days when I am maybe not practicing what I preach, but I sure as hell am working on it. That’s gotta count for something 🙂