When people ask me what I do, I don’t always like to say I am a yoga teacher. I never know how “yoga teacher” is going to land for people, or what they picture yoga teachers look like, or what they do.
Sometimes I try to describe what I do without saying the word “yoga.”
The other day I thought of this description of what I do:
I help people become unglued.
Now ordinarily becoming unglued is not a desirable thing. It implies falling apart and being unable to function.
But the way I think of becoming unglued is this.
When we are “glued” we are attached. What are we attached to? Any number of things: our stories, our problems, our jobs, our children, our personalities, our “things to do” lists, —you name it.
We are glued to these things to the point that when we think about making any changes we can’t, because our story, our problems, our jobs, our children, our things-to-do lists eat up all the space in our lives where change could happen.
Change can only happen in space.
Think of it. What if I held you really close to me in a smothering, massive bear hug? I could control you in this position, but the only way you could get out from under my control, is if you could create some space between us. You would have to elbow me away in order to create some change in our relationship.
When people come into my yoga class, I try to distract them from all the things they are “glued to.” I say things like:
Notice how you are breathing in this posture.
Notice how when you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, you clench your jaw.
Allow some space for your breath in your belly.
All this noticing distracts them from their obsessive thoughts about their jobs, lives, children, etc. It unglues them, in effect, thus creating a little more space inside their minds.
Not only that, but all the stretching, the breathing, the weird shapes the body is asked to assume during class, work their magic too, creating a lot more space inside their bodies.
And in this newly created mind space and body space they now feel unglued and free.
In this new “unglued” space they can finally see, maybe for the first time, that they are NOT their stories, their problems, their careers, their to-do lists, etc. And this brings about a feeling of relief and peace.
They float out of class feeling so good. They want to find a way to sustain this free and unglued state all the time.
They love becoming unglued.
(How do you become unglued?)