I recently had an encounter with someone that gave me unsolicited feedback about one of my Yoga classes. At first, I was taken aback because I immediately thought that I had done something wrong without knowing. However, this feedback was regarding the way that ended class after Shavasana. It was told to me that my music was too loud and that I was shouting when people were trying to meditate. At first, I wanted the person to be wrong but the more I looked at it this person was absolutely correct.
I have a hearing loss in both ears due to sitting in front of the drum line for many years of marching band. I play trumpet so that also doesn’t help things. Well, this was my first excuse anyways. I instantly thought about all the times that when I bring presence into my voice volume that I can adjust perfectly fine without shouting at people.
I always get nervous teaching at this particular studio as I am the ‘Fat Yoga Teacher’. Body image matters a lot at this particular studio and I always get self conscious about it regardless of the improvement of my body. Students here are attending here to look better not to improve their quality of thoughts despite their attempts at philanthropy and the amazing people that I have the privilege to teach. The idea of yoga has been warped all around the world and that doesn’t exclude its origin.
Shavasana is not a meditative posture. It is a relaxation posture. So, to this person’s feedback - why are you trying to disconnect from me when I am giving clear instruction on what to do. Then, I think about my ego and why I am placing importance on this person listening to me anyway. Every time there is another teacher in the room while you are teaching there will be judgement. I judge people’s lifestyles and how they differ from the principles of yoga. I have been getting better at not doing this but I set such a high standard on myself that I try to impose it on others.
So, what was once a part of everyday life is now something that is chewed on and pondered. A simple feedback is taken not personally but to the heart to be the best teacher I can possibly for every student that trusts me with their mind and body. I am very grateful that this person showed the courage to bring the feedback to me in person because so often anymore people hide behind the vail of social media or text messaging. The person I have become has lifetimes to be the person I aspire to be.