Thursday, October 18, 2012

And She’s A Yoga Teacher?

I am a novice when it comes to yoga.  It is not my preferred exercise, as I enjoy classes that give me an adrenaline rush and release of endorphins.  Occasionally, I will attend a yoga class, for stretching, and relaxation.  The mood is a striking contrast to heart pumping classes and energetic instructors, to the quiet nurturing of the yoga instructor.    

Yoga instructors appear to be gentle souls who bring tranquility and peace to their classes.  I would assume their personal lives mirror their demeanor of quiet calmness.   My due diligence for this blog finds one instructor who says Yoga is an artistic expression of divine beauty that reconnects you to your self and invites more love, joy, and fun into your life.  Yoga is defined as a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline which originated in ancient India. This lovely woman appeared to be the epitome of what anyone would seek in a yoga instructor. 

When I recently learned of a local yoga instructor training facility who certified a woman named M as a yoga instructor, my former admiration for the controlled placidity of the practice was profoundly questioned.

M is a bold adulterer who has brazenly flaunted her affairs.  Perhaps her need to “feel important” is the reason for the undignified behavior – even attending her lover’s divorce proceeding, caressing his thighs in view of the judge.  Presently, M still chases self-worth as she touts her minimal yoga credentials as “graduate school”, despite the lack of any undergraduate education.  

M is volatile and explodes into unwarranted displays of temper. Her fuse is short, and without restraint.  Digging her nails into the neck of a child is within her realm of discipline.  Her verbal cruelty emitted from the depths of offensiveness as she informed her six year old stepdaughter that her mother’s new baby would be born blind and deaf.  

M lacks the selflessness of a mother, disregarding her daughters by moving her married boyfriend into her home the day after she told their father to leave.  She further severed her maternal bond by dropping the last name they shared, preferring the name of her new husband, livid that his ex- wife still shared that surname with her children.   

M complied with gusto, with dishonesty and without conscience to her new husband’s ploys for punishing his ex-wife for divorcing him, never reflecting his sole focus was on harming his ex-wife’s relationship with her children, instead of on M, his new wife.    

M’s marriage ended as soon as her step-children were independent.  Her husband’s new girlfriend replaced her in every aspect of her former life.  Lacking humility M proclaims, “We are still man and wife, although we live in different places,” and loyally complies with his obsessive harassment of his first wife, utilizing their children as destructive pawns…to this day. 

This is the woman who is now teaching yoga.  Although she’s earned the qualifications of the physicality of yoga, my concerns are what lies beneath the surface of a woman who is supposed to be teaching spiritual discipline, when her own soul has been contaminated by her degrading life choices.  How can she serve as a role model and contribute a positive and motivating influence to others seeking peace, when the root of her being is corroded?

We are all taught from a very young age, not to judge a book by its cover.  We are taught to assume that there is goodness beneath the surface.  But what happens when the surface is shrouded in the appearance of kindness?  One would then implement another lesson learned in childhood of not talking to strangers…or maybe not taking their yoga class either….

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