An open letter to my student
I read your letter to me and realised it was important for me to reply. It was funny, sweet and made me go ‘awwwww’ at some points, but I think there are also some things you need to hear from me. And like you, I know I can’t tell you these things during class, because it’s my responsibility to teach and observe all of the other students, but after class I don’t want to interrupt your zen-like reverie. If you’re floating out of my class, you’re happy, and that makes me happy.
So now let me respond in kind, point for point, from the bottom of my heart.
*You’re sorry you don’t come to class. It’s not me, it’s you…
I know! I think I know you quite well by now. I know who you are and I know how you react to situations. And I will say the same to you as I say to my other students: I’m not going to judge you if you miss a class or make excuses. I accept it – and I can’t put your choices on my shoulders. If you don’t come, you don’t come. I know I have done my best, I have done my job… but the next time I see you, I will say hey! Your practice! What about your practice?
*Why do I go to the back of the room during Kapalbhati?
Haha, it is not about bad breath! The reason I do this is to avoid inhaling germs.
I am French… I must have picked this up from the people of Spain!
*Seeing you at your worst.
You must know by now I never judge you! And more specifically – I’m not looking for those things you point out. What I notice in my students is alignment, muscular details, whether they are doing a position correctly or not. These are the things I must always be aware of, and if I was thinking about your waxing, your haircut or your skin, my students would suffer. It doesn’t matter how you look, what matters is how you practice.
*Symmetrical yoga mats
I’m not attached to ideas like this. Students can practice wherever they feel comfortable.
*Absorbing my knowledge…
If you can do the poses great. You have to be happy about it but for me it’s not important. It makes you grow, but I want you to grow on your own too. And if you can do something well, maybe I’ll get to help someone else who needs me more than you – but now you can help your neighbour!
*Secretly turning the heat up?
No! Never! But I can see why sometimes you may think this. As the weather is changing outside, the sensation of heat you receive in the room will change and the heaters and humidifiers are not working in the same way. When you come in summer, from 30 degrees outside to 40 degrees inside, the difference is not so noticeable, but in winter, when it’s 15 or more degrees colder, it feels very different. This is when you really feel it.
*You want me to be proud of you.
Why? This is not the point of yoga… and you know that! YOU have to be proud of you. Please don’t wait for praise to come from me – I’m not going to tell you if you’re a good or bad yogi. I just want you to keep practicing. Being a yogi is about being dedicated and coming to practice. I don’t want to inflate your ego.
*Who is teachers pet anyway?
My dog, Joy!
*You and your McDrive Thrus…
Do whatever you want to do. I’m not a nutritionist and I don’t advise people on what to eat… but it is always clear what food is good for your health and what isn’t. All I can say is, you are what you eat!
*And those hangovers?
You have to take responsibility for your own life. After all, it’s not me who will feel bad in the room (or at home still in bed) because you’ve been out drinking!
I want to take this moment to thank you too. To thank you and all of my students. Without my students, we wouldn’t have this space, and our little community wouldn’t exist, so I am always grateful that you choose to practice at Hot Yoga Ibiza.