Anonymity and Yoga
When I first started practicing I loved that I could walk into a studio or a gym and leave all of my baggage at the door. The girl at the front desk didn’t know my story, didn’t know what I did for a living – I could just unroll my mat and breathe. The teacher helped me focus on my breath and that took me further out of my story, and into what I would learn is my “truth.”
The story I walked in with was one filled with anxiety, stress and doing way too much. One teacher I continued to go to only had to say, “Let it go,” and all of the self-created chitta (or mind stuff) would dissipate.
A lot has changed in my life since then. I went from anonymous student to volunteering at a studio, to managing it. Being the girl behind the desk, sometimes I knew the student’s back story and sometimes not. The difference was that while I greeted everyone the same, I started to forge connections with others. Some were content with the bantar: “Hello, how’s your day?” “Fine, how’s yours?” And that was perfect, too.
Even more has changed stepping from studio manager to teaching classes. There is much to say about the student-teacher relationship – but even more as a new teacher and still feeling like a forever student.
My second yoga teacher training was filled with vulnerability: trainees sharing their stories in a safe space and stepping into our power (voices) as teachers. Needless to say, anonymity was out the door. Beautifully cultivated connections were forged and many of these I still cherish. I started to notice that walking into a class now felt different – some days, almost communal.
Flash forward even more, and you’ll find me welcoming students to their mats as the studio facilitator at PureJoy. You may even be so lucky to unroll your mat in one of my classes (I should be so lucky!). I recall the days when I was new, not wanting to be seen, and having the freedom of anonymity in a yoga class. I try to respect the students who remind me of my yoga journey; though, I have made several heart connections in our sweet yoga community.
What I see to be my truth is that yoga offers us a safe place to be – without our stories.
Yoga chitta vritti nirodha. – Yoga Sutra 1.2
Yoga stills the fluctuations of the mind.
And in doing so, the story dies. The story lives in the past and peace is found in the present – through breath, through yoga.
And at some point in your practice, your truth will emerge and you can no longer be unseen. The transformation that happens on the mat increases your self-awareness and expands your consciousness, and others will take notice. You will be ready to be seen and heard and live your truth.
My wish for you is that you stay with it long enough to see all that is waiting for you, your fully expressed self, and no longer anonymous.