Writerly Life

I gave my yoga teacher the stink eye.

I gave my yoga teacher the stink eye.

This is a true confession. I wish I could tell you I only ever did it once. Truly, I break out the stink eye once or twice a class at least. Usually right around the time when the instructor mentions how one day this move will help me be able to do a headstand, or one day I’ll just be able to hold this pose (see two seconds of it causing intense pain and certain death) for a very long time.

The other members of my family received a healthy dose of genetic disposition toward anything athletic and sweating. As for me, well, I’d rather not.

So I’ve found yoga, and I love it for its lack of competitive nature, for the fact that I don’t feel like anyone is looking at me, and for those few minutes of shavasana at the end, wherein I am forced to be gloriously still. After 28 years, I’ve found something athletic that I actually enjoy.

My sweet, gentle, amazing instructor April from Human Breathing, who opened up this whole new world of yoga to me, does not deserve the stink eye, because I simply love everything about how and what she teaches. But, I hope she catches it every now and then.

You see “the stink eye” is something I’ve received a few times myself. Try telling thirty 14-year-olds that they need to read a book (at least one) over spring break. Stink eye(s). Try telling thirty 14-year-olds that you’re in love with their writing, but we are going to revise it again, for the fifteenth time. Stink eye(s).  Just suggest to that same group, that the very skill that they are learning (and struggling with) right now, will soon be mixed with another new skill. Stinker.

But I’ve been teaching long enough to know that “the stink eye” doesn’t have anything to do with not liking you; it doesn’t even have anything to do with not trusting you. Nope. The stink eye, in yoga and in my classroom, means this is really hard right now, and what you’re talking about sounds even harder, but I trust you, so I’m throwing you the stink eye and begging you to help me a whole ton along the way.

So students, send your stink eyes my way, let me know you’re with me, I promise you can do it, and maybe at the end of it, you’ll even get your moment of shavasana.

(April, I promise to try to bit more grown up about giving you the stink eye, and believing that one day my legs-up-the-wall will result in a headstand).\

One reply on “I gave my yoga teacher the stink eye.”

Okkkk after reading past the first line, this makes COMPLETE sense. I love what you had to say about “the stink eye” (and how you said it). I like that it has become a thing that really shouldn’t be taken personally or negatively. Because in order for your students to show any sense of doubt or lack of trust, that means they actually had to trust you in the first place. It’s more so doubt of themselves, placed into you, who will inevitably guide them. I also love that you constantly allow yourself to be placed in your students shoes. You are right there along side them, and even though you are now a teacher, you purposefully choose to never forget what it means to be a student.

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