Take me to the river
And wash me down
Won’t you cleanse my soul
Put my feet on the ground
~ lyrics by Al Green
This year has been full of changes both big and small and we are just over the half way mark. Some of the changes that I have experienced are evident with my new web site and the opening of the Yoga Salon. Others are noticeable but havenâ€™t been as overt. Itâ€™s time for me, in the words of Al Green, to cleanse my soul and put my feet on the ground!
As many no doubt know by now, there has been a â€œScandal in Anusaraland.â€ Until February 3, I thought the path in front of me was clear. However, the disclosure of less than model behaviours by Anusara Yoga founder John Friend and the ensuing implosion of Anusara Inc. and its teaching community changed all that for me. Yes, I am intentionally minimizing the details here. If you really want to know the specifics, you can go online. Much has been written about the topic.
Suffice it to say that as painful as this situation has been, I am ready to put it behind me. I need to be cleansed of it. The first significant step I took in that process was the decision minimize the amount of Anusara information on my new web site. But itâ€™s hard to simply dismiss nine years of valuable practice, study and teaching. The second major step was to resign my license as a certified Anusara teacher.
What does it mean to resign?
1.Â Â Â Â It means that even though I am a certified Anusara teacher because I have done the work and earned the certificate, I can no longer legally advertise what I teach as Anusara. It also means that I remain committed to learning and teaching good alignment based yoga.
2.Â Â Â Â It means that I am still able to teach the Universal Principles of Alignment. These alignment principles are important practice tools, and although I may change some terminology, I still draw on them in every class.
3.Â Â Â Â It means that I am now free to incorporate the wonderful lessons I have learned from other methods and teachers with all that I have learned from Anusara. This can only serve to enrich our yoga!
4.Â Â Â Â Most of all, it means that I have been and will continue to look inward to ask myself what is really important to me as a yoga student and teacher. I have an earnest desire to walk my talk.
The Reverend Greenâ€™s lyrics also speak to my desire to wash away what no longer serves me well. I want to wash away the feelings exclusivity and elitism that teaching a branded form of yoga created within me. I sometimes felt like a cheerleader shouting “We’re number one!” I am not proud of feeling this way. It left me feeling ungrounded. So, resigning my license has helped me put my feet back on the ground.
I need to be grounded so that I can walk a path that serves me well and also serves those I care about: family, friends, my community and all who take yoga classes and trainings with me.
I need to be grounded so that I can more clearly see the wonder of what is right in front of me.
I need to be grounded so that I can be fully present in this life. Right here, Right now. Everything I need is already inside of me. I donâ€™t need to travel the globe to learn how to be a good teacher, I need to teach what I know.
The tag on todayâ€™s Yogi Tea bag said, â€œTo learn, read. To know, write. To master, teach.â€ Message received. This will help me put my feet on the ground. This will help me walk my talk.
And, just in case you are wondering â€¦ yes, it is all comes back to finding equanimity!