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when the spotlight is on...

When I embark in the journey of yoga teaching - I already know I have to put myself up there. I don't really like it. Once I was in a drama group and we played King Lear - I was the the queen. It was for university competition. I practiced days and nights. All those as main characters were acting drama since ages, I was not. It was the first year of mine doing drama. I was thrill, but also anxious.

I loved every minute of it, the preparation, the practice. It took me into different character, but as I wash my face each time after, with full makes up that went to the drain with water - there I saw my own face again. It was an interesting experience, when I saw the spotlight in me and I could not see anything else except my partner I was dialog with - the King Lear. After that, I decided I did not want to be an actress. They offered few other character after, I simply said I prefer work behind the scenes - music, choreographic, settings, costumes, lighting, anything. Just not at the stage anymore.

In yoga, I love the teaching of it and enjoy each minutes of it - if I approached it not as performance but rather, simply trying to translate my knowledge and hand it over to those in front of me that willing to spend their time and money, to do just that. At the beginning when I teach, there is these urge to "performs" as a great practitioners that knows everything and can do everything. I stayed in the front of the class and just show everyone how to do it. Well, that's how I started, until I realised I am talking on my own here, some people needs that directions. So I started get off my mat and walk around as I teach. I used the other students to show them what I meant, while helping another students.

The feeling to see everyone grow, inside and outside, is the one that keep me going. We start knowing each other names, not only me, but also most regulars that comes to the classes. We started meeting after classes to know each other more, to discuss our practices and many other things. And as I see this, I saw their practice, their self worth, their confidence and their quality of life growing. We built community. It by it own means giving reward that simply seen and feel right away that very moment.

The business of yoga - like the stage I had used to experience, is much more than the yoga itself. As business industry, it is very competitive. Each person try to brought their own things in the surfaces, their values, teaching, and what sells. And what sells, doesnt always sit right with me.

We sell the so call wellbeing industry with magic remedies - that hope in an instant we can fix anything everything. There is no such things, well at least as I believe, which is why sometime I found it difficult to sell things that I do not believe myself. Yoga is a repetitive practice - inside and outside the mat, in the body and in the mind. The physicality is the doorway, asana is the medium. It's not the goal. So getting physically attractive in these so called yoga outfits is not the end point (for me!) - although it is what might appears repeatedly in many social media and advert (but if you do look good in it, then hooray!!!). It's a secondary outcomes. The serenity and equilibrium doesn't necessarily portray as big smiles, bubbly happy life. Some like me does not really like my personal life exposed in public. Often it's those little things that contentment reach. Of being content in each moment in time in little day to day things. Of constantly being here and there in each breath. It means allowing the mind to wonder when it's time to wonder, and ability to brought the mind back in. The mat, is the gateway. The magic result, only happening gradually. Sometime - we can not even feel it. Suddenly everything sit into the right places, including perhaps our yoga outfit (haha!)

The state in well being is not saying that we don't have anything that bothering our life. Every one has. The weight of it, none of us can say one or another lighter than the rest. It just is. When its bothering us, it is bothering us. What we do with that, that define our wellbeing and how we take responsibility of our own wellbeing. Of our own life.

So either you are those queen or king that like to be in the spotlight all the time, or those prefer in the backgrounds - those who bubbly with big smiles or those simple smile watching simple things in daily life - those who do yoga for one reason or the other - notice that when we do it commitedly in and out of the mat, yoga is not merely about asana. And notice that - its easier to get attention with shouting, screaming, or laugh loudly, its much harder to do something just normally but constantly good at it before you get noticed. Those good children often easier to stay in the background because the naughty one or the loud one or the one with bubbly personality is in the front, and how we appreciated those in the background before these children would slowly fade away and doing their own things. Believe that constantly being just you - will make you noticed as you are. At least I do.

  • Asian Jasmine Yoga