One aspect of my yoga career and practice that I have struggled with for years was the fact that I never truly felt connected to any particular yoga community. I just never really felt like I ‘fit’ any where, and although I have one community that I am in better alignment with, it becomes a difficult task when trying to find more work to explain just why I seem so unconnected community wise.
It is not that I do not love to practice with a group of people and feel the energy of the room swell into a glorious bliss. Nor that I do not enjoy hanging out with other yogis. However recently I started really asking myself why do I shy away from going to class?
More often than not when confronted with the challenge of purchasing an unlimited package at a studio, or going to a workshop, retreat, or festival, I have often restricted myself because of money. All of those things are expensive, and when you are working so hard to build a real foundation to grow from, it can be difficult to justify those kind of expenses instead of allocating funds towards your goals. Furthermore yoga is a booming industry in a capitalistic world. I realize that most yogis do not see the world in dollar signs, but there is need of it in order to facilitate the running of a program, studio, and a yoga lifestyle. Yes I want to attend your retreat, or be able to pop into your studio whenever I can, or travel to a festival across the country to learn from some of the best teachers, all the while helping you continue these events and have the life you want; however I can not pour from my own empty cup.
Nonetheless money was a smoke screen to the real reason that I prefer to practice yoga alone. I am coming into the realization now that for the most part I am very private about my practice. Part of it sure is due to the fact that I surround my practice in the Spirit; but when it comes to the physical practice, I choose not to go to class because I simply do not want to. Because sometimes I walk out elated, sometimes drained. Because most of the time my guides and spirits talk to me during practice, and they do not like leaving my sacred space. Because I just want to work on my own stuff.
Lets start unpacking all of that.
- I am an Empath: For one I can sometimes walk out of a yoga class feeling drained, either right away or sometime soon there after. This seems counter productive. I have a lot of strange gifts that leave me more open and vulnerable than most. Over the years instead of shutting them down or throwing up shields, I choose to find ways to use them to help me connect. As an empath growing up in a household that needed a bit more convincing, I learned many tools to help me cope. For a time sure I tried shields, and shutting down; but in my later years I discovered that as a healer and yoga instructor being an open and aware empath helped me to understand people better so that I could guide them appropriately. Still when practicing in a typical class setting this can be problematic as you will walk out also feeling all the gunk that other students or the teacher brought in; sometimes leaving you drained.
- Connecting with my guides: When I was younger I was a very gifted seer. Over the years I have lost much of my gift due to improper training, and am now working tirelessly to keep what I have left and get the rest back. In this work I have realized that many of the messages and communication that my guides give is almost always when I am alone, in my own space. There have been times, usually extreme ones, where I get messages when I am away, however the vast majority of my communing happens in front of my own alter.
- I just want to work on my own stuff: one of the major perks to being a Yoga Teacher, is that you develop an understanding of how flows work. You want to learn arm balances? Awesome, I can write a flow for that! Feeling closed off? Alright, I can write a flow for that too! When I am feeling a particular need to work on a pose, or part of my practice I can step on my mat an understand what needs to happen to get me there. But when you go to a class, that might not be the focus, or the theme that is being taught (and it is poor manners to just flow alone in a class). Not to mention, if you are a private person, it is not always possible to work through emotional baggage with a full room of people that you might not know.
I love taking classes, and have been blessed to have studied under some of the most amazing souls and teachers. However at the end of the day, I am an introvert. Being such I often prefer to practice at my own home with my own alter and space. Regardless, everything is a balance, and that balance differs from person to person. My balance is one class a month with a community that I truly enjoy, and a teacher that can reach parts of me I am unable to on my own.
Practice in Peace and Love ❤