I can remember when I was a newer yoga teacher, I was always very aware of what I said, ate, drank and how I acted in front of my students. Coming in and out of the studio, before and after class, running into them on the street, I’d see them and instantly switch into “teacher mode.” To them, it might not have been apparent but to me it was. If I had a Starbucks cup, I wanted to be sure they knew it was tea that I was drinking ( who cares if a yoga teacher drinks coffee?) If I saw them out at a local restaurant or bar, I was aware of how I was acting with my friends. If I saw them before class, I was very conscious of my word choice and topics of discussion.
It was exhausting! Eventually, as I got more comfortable and experienced as a teacher, I cared less and less about creating a line of demarcation between “me” and the teacher part of me. I realized that they were one in the same and to be anything less was a disservice to my students as well as myself. How refreshing it was to not feel like I had to flip from one way of being to another whenever I walked into the studio.
Relationships can be like this as well. Do you have a way you are with certain people you are close to, but underneath, you’re not really being true to yourself? Do you realize how harmful that can be, especially over time, to not only your relationship with this person but with yourself? A real, honest, true relationship expects that both people will show up and be true and honest. And that means revealing all that there is about themselves.. the good, the bad and the ugly. Marianne Williamson writes about this in her wonderful book called, “Return to Love” and the essence of what she says is that when one person shows up fully for a relationship, they only encourage the other person to do the same. Keep in mind, you may be thinking about this in the context of a romantic relationship but it works for all things: your relationship with your family, your friends, your office mates, your job.
So what does any of this have to do with yoga or running? Being true to yourself and having the strength to show your true colors is the foundation of self-esteem and a positive self-image. When you have those two things, you have personal power. And when you have that, you have the strength to do anything: run a marathon, tackle a tough pose, have that difficult conversation, be yourself without any apologies, share your deepest thoughts and fears with someone you love without fear of rejection. These things all make us stronger and that strength carries us through the challenges in our lives.
Monday night was a fast tempo 5 miler. Last night, rest night. Tonight, 7 miles. This weekend, 20 miles. We are right on track for October 19th, my friends!
Love and peace.