When doing my first filming for YogaStream it dawned on me that what I was talking in regards to ‘listening in’ and ‘honoring your body’ was in fact NOT the path I myself was walking…
Yoga philosophy dictates that because this world is made of opposing forces (such as YIN & YANG), whenever something really powerful happens in your life, all other energies will also be in motion & old demons and patterns may very well show up. This tendency definitely manifested, when one of my big dreams came through & all of sudden I was faced with versions of me I thought I had buried long ago.
I am a full time yoga teacher & have been for many years. That means I am almost an expert in soothing peoples frazzled selves, nursing their inner lost children in long & powerful Balasanas (Childs pose); & – off course - telling them to let go of the notion of control & the fruitless search for ’perfect’. Not only do I preach this; I also firmly believe it. Just not when it comes to ME….
Well, actually I thought I had let go of a lot of these habits & struggles, but it turned out I had just re-phrased a few things, moved the bar to some other place & that slippery, sneaky ego of mine had just found another hiding place. Just like it had back in the day, when I did my first 200 hour Teacher Training in London. My sharp & dedicated master, Dylan Ayaloo only needed 2 days to see straight through my guises and masks, & bravely informed our training group that from now on some of our assignments were to be handed in via Facebook. Dylan of course knew that I was a proud ‘anti-Social-Media-yogi’, & he watched my explosive reaction to the news with full attention – & may I say – a little smile on his faceJ I delivered a touching speech about how this was unheard of, nowhere in the program did it say anything about us needing to be on Facebook blah blah blah. Dylan calmly explained that I was free to walk out. Luckily I didn’t, & luckily it did not take me very long to understand that Dylan had given me a rare gift: he had called me out, “ showed me that my ego had now taken identity from “being so pure and yogic, that I was not even on Facebook.”
This time my ego was in disguise as Superwoman. Maybe you’ve met her? I strongly encourage the ability & guts to say “NO”. It’s just that I am actually not very good at this. On the contrary I am very good at saying “YES”, even when every little inch of my body is aching with tiredness, - or even fever. Though I felt the first signs of a cold sneaking in on me more than a week ago, I powered on, cause I am used to being able to wing it.
And so I did. Both at our 2 steaming sessions with Musikkens Hus, when I spoke about YOGA HUSET at a conference in Aarhus & that first day of recording for YogaStream in Copenhagen. In fact those gigs went really well, & I was pleased with myself & my ability to muster even the last bit of strength & to tune out of my body’s needs…not to mention the needs of my growing family that are often left with the remnants of me.
But then something new happened on the second day of recording:
For the first time
I couldn’t wing it. I couldn’t overhear & overpower my body. I stood in a studio, with Tine, a talented and professional camerawoman & Miriam, a gifted & generous former aspirant from our Teacher Training, & I felt the sweat drip of me like I was in menopause. I was constantly out of breath in the challenging arm balance flow I had created (which I never am, cause I am STRONG & FIT), I forgot whole sequences on the one side of the body (which I never do, cause I am a PRO and have the MEMORY of an elephant), my bra fell down making it waaaaaayyyy to boobaliscious, my top slipped up revealing my snow-white “mum of 2 belly”; & worse than anything: My voice, which is my anchor, left the building.
It was a very humbling experience & truly a new beginning. Now I know what that feels like. I know that you cannot always “pull your act together”. That there are some situations where willpower is not all it takes.
I already knew all these things, but now I know that it is also true for me – the former superwoman….
I discovered that though I have let go of “perfect” & “control” in a lot of ways (known as Ishvara Pranidana in Patanjali’s 8 limbs of Yoga), I still had a lot of need for control & my version of perfect, when it came to my own performance as “Maj the super yogi”. I am well-rehearsed in letting go of control in regards to owning things & titles; but not having control of my own body, snot trickling down & my voice trailing off was altogether eye-opening & scary to me. I had perfected the image of Maj not caring about perfect – well knowing that I always delivered a “perfect” class with no holes, mistakes or wardrobe malfunctions.
I guess you never stop learning.
What a great journey this yoga is.
PS. Look forward to all the real & raw videos from YogaStream – in English – just like this blog post :-)
/Af Maj Ingemann-Molden