Before I became a yoga teacher, I would race into a hot yoga room wanting to sweat. Back then, sweating was what felt good and the only thing that felt good to me. It didn't matter to me how I got to that hot room, I would get frustrated at the slow drivers in front of me but I was careless because all I want is to get into that yoga room... and sweat!
I remember one time the teacher came in with a calm voice to start and then instantly had us in plank position for 5 breaths and alternately switched to downward facing dog about 2-3 times. I got so frustrated that I almost threw my water bottle and walked out of the room. I didn't know where this anger was coming from and ignorantly, I was blaming the yoga teacher for making me work hard and sweat. When ultimately, it was a level 3 class and I got what I wanted to achieve, and it was... to sweat!
When I was in my yoga teacher training, I started to realize the hardships of being a teacher and conducting a sequence. It gave me a whole new perspective. The frustrations I had at the teacher for making me hold the plank pose made me realize that if I ever do encounter that moment, that anger has nothing to do with the teacher. The frustrations stem from somewhere else.
Everybody comes from their own hard battle. One of the great things about being a yoga teacher is being able to recognize someone else's battle and not letting their negativity affect you. My yoga mentor taught me "yogah chitta vritti nirodha" which translates to "Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind." Basically, our mind is constantly filled with crazy chatters and in yoga, the movements of our body is fluid when our mind is fluid. The key is being still and quieting our mind chatter in order to move gracefully into the practice.
I wish I could go back to that time when I got frustrated at the teacher and change my behavior. I did come into a conclusion though that it's important I recognize this and share it to someone who might be new into yoga. The quality of your life depends on the quality of your mind. Your mind is a very powerful vessel. Whatever your mind is thinking, your body follows. Nowadays, I set good intentions before I start my practice. Truth to be told, I make it a habit to calm my crazy mind before I even attempt to do a child's pose. ;) Clearing your mind from the chatter can be done by starting in Ujjayi breathing, meditation, or alternate nostril breathing.
I am at a point of my yoga teaching life when I sometimes doubt myself when it comes to teaching a large class because I have this fear of being judged. We all have our own insecurities when it comes to being in a spotlight. But every time fear holds me back, I say "chitta vritti nirodha." Again, this speaks about the volume of mind and body connection.
Enjoy the journey, the universe is unfolding as it should.