This weekend I’m leading a Backbending Workshop at Space Yoga in Shanghai!

Backbends have never been easy for me. My hip flexors are incredibly tight. I’ve been working on opening them up for a long time. The progress is slow but I’m making progress. And it’s incredibly rewarding!
One of the challenges I see in our yoga community is the rise of yoga as a business. You have to be very careful as a yoga teacher. Many of the things that your students need are not the things that they want. You can see how they are out of balance and you can help them find more balance. But if your goal is to be popular or if you are running a business you have to be careful you aren’t just trying to please your customers and always giving them what they want. Swami Satyananda has this great quote where he says, “first I find out what my students want and then I try to give them the opposite.”
I remember when I first understood that the most popular teachers weren’t always the best teachers.
There’s friction involved in growth and learning. It’s uncomfortable. It takes hard work.
I used to hate doing backbending. I even didn’t like teachers who taught a lot of backbending in their classes. I resisted my own growth so much. Now, I know the backbends are what I need. They still aren’t easy. I’m in the fire in every one. But I’m learning to love that fire. And I’m training myself to choose to go into the fire. I don’t want to get in my own way anymore.
What are the poses you don’t like? What is challenging for you? What are you avoiding? What if you stopped avoiding? What if you chose to go into the fire? Who do you think you might become if you got out of your own way? I remember my teacher @anniecarpentersmartflow holding us in a pose for a long time and saying, “You can glare at me all you want, it doesn’t mean we are coming out of the pose any faster!” Good teacher’s hold the space for their students. They don’t try to make you comfortable. They don’t try to always give you what you want. They push you to be the best you can be. That’s the job!