The Real Responsibility of a Yogi

In the past six years of my yoga teaching career I have been on a crazy journey that I could never have planned for. It was very much as if someone had told me to pack for a trip without telling me the destination and I stand here now with a bikini while we gaze out at the mountains of Alaska. There have been many twists and turns and decisions to make about where and when to teach. Just in my area, two studios have closed completely, others have changed hands, while at the same time, new studios have opened their doors. I’ve had to decide what I wanted for my career and listen to my gut instincts and heart about what was right for me.

And in the end, I always make the same decision: to support and teach for the studios that are passionate about the yoga that I love to teach. My mission is to support studios that were created by teachers that loved and believed in the healing potential of yoga so much they couldn’t stop themselves from creating a space for a community of yogis to practice with discipline, integrity, and safety. I will continue to teach for these studios for as long as I can. And it’s my responsibility as a teacher of this yoga to assist each studio towards hitting whatever goals are set as individual teams in order for these communities to continue to flourish and grow.

But, there is also a responsibility that I have as a student. It’s simple really and anyone that loves Bikram Yoga, or any other particular yoga, or a certain yoga studio, has the same responsibility that I have. And it’s this: show up. It’s the most important thing you will do for your Self and for your practice. Many things happen for you when you show up and many things are put into motion for others when you show up. Here’s why you should make it to your mat this week…

This is what happens when you show up.

  • You learn more about YOU.
  • You begin to heal.
  • Life off of your mat gets easier.
  • Your clothes fit better and your skin starts to have a healthy glow.
  • You are naturally more hydrated because there is no way you can do this for very long without learning how to replenish.
  • You start to eat good, wholesome foods.
  • You support a local small business.
  • You are telling that business owner you like the class – the teacher, the time, and the duration.
  • You support a teacher in doing what they love to do.
  • You become part of a community of like-minded supportive people. (Yogis are kind of the best people out there when it comes to supporting your dreams and goals.)

This is what happens when you DON’T show up.

  • You stop your healing process. The body gets tighter and injuries you thought were long gone my even start to come back.
  • Life off the mat might become stressful. You start to care about the smallest things instead of brushing them off and moving on.
  • You drink less water and maybe eat weird food as you no longer have to prepare the body for class.
  • You withdraw your support for a local small business.
  • The studio starts to offer classes at different times to accommodate the students that are showing up or scales down their schedule altogether.
  • If the schedule is paired down, your teachers have less classes to teach.
  • You lose contact with your yogi friends. (They were great, weren’t they?)

It’s very simple. If you love the yoga then keep the yoga in your life. Show up. Allow the body and mind to open up. All too often, as a teacher I hear from students about how they should have never quit or taken that break. Or, they are upset that a studio closed, or changed their class times, yet they hadn’t attended class there in years. You are voting yes for yoga, the studio, and the class, every time you get there and stand on your mat in the heat. We want you there with us – so keep coming and enjoy the changes that this truly transformative yoga will bring to your life. I’ll meet you there!

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