Cranked, yanked, spanked

Today, on another blog, I read this: “[P]eople sometimes lose faith in their teachers. I wonder if it isn’t more about a loss of faith in one’s self that then gets projected on the teacher. I wonder if that isn’t the root of teacher discontent.”

I knew who this was directed to, since I am, at the moment, the poster child for “loss of faith” in teachers, and since this particular blogger recently deleted a comment of mine that questioned the sanity of desperately attempting to go deeper in poses that our bodies (aging bodies, I might add) simply are not meant to go deeper in. I had written that perhaps there is a “wall” at which progress stops, and why fight it?

Deleted. Truth hurts, huh?

Anyway, I would like to address it here.

It’s my blog after all, and I would rather expend my words here, than waste them …well…there. So here goes:

Of course, I can’t answer for everybody, but I know why I have lost interest in being “taught” yoga by a yoga teacher (with some exception). It is because I have come to a point in my practice where I totally understand what is going on in my body and where I totally know what my body needs on any given day.

A projection of loss of faith in my SELF?! HA! Not even one bit true. It is the opposite of true.

I am a senior teacher of yoga…of myself. When it comes to teaching me, it doesn’t get more senior than this. I am the expert, plain and simple, inside and out. I know what my body needs, what my body tolerates, what feels good and what causes pain. I choose not to have my body cranked and yanked into poses. I choose to honor my body by keeping it safe from harm caused by teachers who think that we WANT our shoulders dislocated and our spines bent the wrong way (newsflash: the thoracic spine is not meant to be bent in the same direction as the lumbar spine). Well, maybe some of you do. But I no longer see the point.

Yeah, see, I don’t feel the need to seek approval from a teacher, and I don’t need my Intermediate Series “validated” by anyone other than me. God knows, the people who actually matter in my life don’t even know what the fuck I’m talking about right about now.

I am not so desperate to prove…I don’t know…something…about my body, about myself, about my youth, about wielding control over the aging process…that I have any urge at all to get INJURED on a daily basis. And that is what some people are doing. Injuring themselves daily. Getting cranked, yanked, and, basically, spanked. For WHAT? To come back tomorrow and do it again? To grumble about my feelings of inferiority because I will only ever “graze my toes” in Kapotasana?

My backbends ARE inferior to some of those out there. Hell, they’re inferior to many. Halle-fuckin-lujah…I still get to the mat, and I still run, and I still hike, and I still use my body in any way that I desire and any way that I am able. I’m not saving it for the mat. Who gives a rat’s ass?

I like to feel good. All I get when I get put into Kapotasana by a teacher is ripped tricep muscles. I’m over it.



7 Responses to Cranked, yanked, spanked

  1. Anonymous says:


    I don't know about having faith in my teachers but I trust that they won't hurt me otherwise I would not go to their classes. One should have more faith in oneself than putting it in the hands of teachers.

    I take control of my adjustment and will never allow a teacher to adjust me to pain – I am not asana chasing, I want to work with my body not against it.

    Ok I lie, I may want x, y and z postures but NOT at any cost. It's only our ego that takes a bashing not being able to do x posture. After all, we don't gain enlightment any faster being able to pretzel our bodies.

    We have got to accept, as you say, that sometimes the body has reached it's limit for x posture and there will be postures we will never be able to do. To accept that, to be able to move on and yet still get on our mat to do the yoga for us – that's all we can ask for at the end of the day.

    Keep writing and doing the yoga you enjoy! Can't see anyone stealing your peace as dear Bikram would say.


  2. C.K. says:

    True yogis believe that the real guru is inside.

    I think this applies to hatha yogis as well.

  3. LI Ashtangini says:

    I really don’t deal well with change. Can’t we work something out, LOL. I’ve been reading you for, like, YEARS.

    Wah wah wah.

  4. yogachickie says:

    How about bookmarking this address? I mean, you really don’t want to be hanging around a blog that might have malware on it? I am told that Blogger is infested! And has been since 2007…so it is amazing I have gone this long without a problem…

    Try it….I am only trying it. If I lose enough readers, I might have to go back. On the other hand, I don’t even know how to statcount on here!

  5. LI Ashtangini says:

    I was just kidding, I’ll read wherever. I will tell you though that for a while your blog would crash my browser on my work machine. I could only read it on my crackberry. Was weird. Never got any malware though.

  6. yogachickie says:

    I am so sorry!!! That is awful!!!!! Now I have to figure out how to get notified of comments on this blog. Believe me, this move is PAINFUL!!!

  7. I teach.

    And all I’m really teaching students is how to connect to their own inner yoga teacher. That’s it.

    Of course, I teach them some asana, pranayama and meditation in order to be able to show them the way into that inner teacher.

    But from my perspective, yoga practice is a personal thing guided by the movements of prana from within. Often we’re so disconnected from our body we can’t even feel what’s going on at a muscular level, let alone an energetic level.

    Hence the need to go to class and learn how to connect from a teacher.

    Then, connection made, it’s just about surrendering to that flow from within and letting the internal teacher take you through the perfect practice for you.

    Which is pretty much what you’re saying here. I guess I just wanted to say it in another way.

    Like your words. Cheers and happy days,

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