"You are one great Yoga teacher! I love your honesty."
How did he react?
Laughed. Said thank you.
How did I feel?
Finding the right teacher is a sensitive issue. Music, math or ballet- no matter what you want to learn, if your teacher is a good fit you will fall in love with it. If he's not you might never see greatness in what you do- or, even worse, in yourself.
You know I teach Yoga and I think that's a true gift. i have said it before. Being taught is, too. I take classes as often as I can and I love coming across new teachers.
There are different kinds of them. Yes, they are all individuals. And yes, ideally teaching teaches you to be your unique self. If you ask me it's all about being authentic.
So no, I am not ignoring people's idiosyncrasies. But I like entertaining typings. And let's face it, there are similarities among Yoga teachers. Been to a bunch of Yoga classes? You might have encountered one of my 4 favorite types: The
A) devotional woman
Her classes are masses. She sings every syllable and she preaches her way through the sequencing. Her Aums are Hallelujahs and her Namastes are Amens. You feel her spaciousness widen the room, she takes you to a cathedral. Her colors replace the church windows- they shine bright enough. She turns into incense and fills the air for 90 minutes. A lot of - more or less deep- insight will come across. She believes every word she says. And she bows low, grateful for each statement.
B) sex bomb
She sighs. A lot. Every sentence of hers is dirty talking. When she comes to adjust your pose she whispers "Yeah, awesome... Uh-huh..." into your ears. She makes your breath grow deeper than it's ever been and your practice slinkier than you knew it could look. She's your Argentinian Tango male: You let her guide. Together you create one hot atmosphere. And you, the female part, let go. -... just in a slightly different way than when you are in that cathedral with the devotional woman (s.below). No celibacy, just plain sex: Her presence, you, and your body. Devotion in Yoga, redefined.
Enter the studio, go to his class and you'll find yourself at a playground. Exploring your body like a sandbox, using blocks, belts and your mat to build sandcastles out of yourself. If they melt away and you fall in your balance asana- so what, it's all a game- and, wait, can't you build something out of that..? Hey, this is cool! He is an enthusiast. The greatest playmate you ever had. You will leave his class wanting to create, whatever. Just go and do it. And have fun. If Yoga is stability and lightness, he is the latter. He'll bring life back to you, with all it's sparkles and bubbles- and slides, swings and play castles.
D) real one
Now this is Roland.
He brings- himself. He neither paints a hundred emotional colors nor does he unpack his bouncy castle. No singing, no massaging, no exotic teachings. I'm surprised he does play a soundtrack after all.
I am not surprised about what he says. He shares a recent thought of his in the beginning. Food for thought; An offer, not a sermon. Think about it if you want to. If not, fine.
That's his whole class. Take his advice if you want to. If not, fine.
Though he swears off entertainment his classes are still light. His friendly winking and at least one good laugh frame each of them.
Roland doesn't spread himself into every corner of the room and your body. He takes a step back and lets you do that. Spread yourself, feel, grow if you want to. If not, fine. Your choice.
It's not like he doesn't bring himself at all- you do get a glimpse at the soft and nice person he is. But he stays in the background.
His anatomic advice is mostly verbal and very precise. His sequencing is smart. His voice stays neutral. Whether he says "That will be one Euro", "How are you?" or "Come into down dog."- he sounds exactly the same.
He does have a thing for physically challenging postures. But it's obvious tries to explain them without ballyhoo.
For Savasana he doesn't use the grand gestures either. He just says "Now leave yourself alone."
That's it. Roland leaves you alone, too. Without leaving you behind.
He is who he is. And he let's you be who you are.