There are a LOT of delicate questions that we can pose to one other within the Yoga World (YW). Actually, the questions themselves are not delicate. But they become delicate within the context of the YW because, well, the YW, and the people who inhabit it are assumed to understand the rightness of things.
Do you eat meat? Have you ever had botox? Are you getting the vaccine?
These are all harmless questions, certainly . . . until they are asked of a yogi. The stakes are even higher if the question is posed (gasp!) publicly.
As you can guess, I have had my own experiences with delicate questions in the context of the YW. I may still be traumatized by an incident that occurred after teaching a class over a decade ago in Los Angeles (the YW is quite big and opinionated there). After agonizing over my decision about whether or not to have open heart surgery, I shared my answer ( Yes ) with my class. Afterwards, I was cornered by a student who asked if I had ever read any of Louise Hays’ books, and didn’t I feel that I could heal myself? The tone wasn’t delicate. It felt accusatory. And that unwelcome feeling lingered heavily.
One of my motivations for choosing Dr. Jayagopal as my Ayurveda doctor (and eventually my teacher) hearkens back to the manner in which he handled my initial visit with him in 2006. When I told him that I had decided to have open heart surgery, I braced myself for a sermon. None came. My decision to undergo surgery was not his concern, he told me.
His only concern (read: dharma) was to make sure that I was in the best possible condition pre- and post-op. No judgment. No proselytizing. No East vs. West discussion. The way he treated me from that moment, so respectfully and without personal agenda, has informed me consistently as I strive to serve my students well.
And now I ask you, dear students, to hold me accountable if my teaching ever crosses over from educating to advocating. I am consciously phasing out words like ALWAYS and NEVER from my vocabulary because I’m not offering you THE TRUTH when I teach. I’m simply offering my experience and a humble invitation to follow my guidance. If conflicted, trust your Self.
So come one and all–herbivores, carnivores, anti-vaxxers, pro-vaxxers, Restylane users, or au naturel. I am not concerned with any of that. In the way that Dr. Jayagopal has so generously modeled for me, my only concern is that you leave class a little better off than when you entered.
And yes … I am getting the Covid vaccine.