Riding the Magic Yoga Carpet–False Gurus, Malaria, Miscarriage & Cults. ~ Linda Karlsson

Via on Mar 14, 2012
Rui Guerra

My longest relationship ever, is, without competition, with yoga. My union with yoga has been going on for exactly 10 years now. This union has taken me places.

Oh man, has it taken me places…

It has taken me places both inside and out. Mostly out, I guess, because the inner part, is a process, which is slow and not that tangible. The inside one is not an unfolding…or is it? I mean, it is more like…maintenance, connection to the source.

From simple Hatha classes in my hometown Lund, Sweden, to rough Iyengar classes in my mother’s home town Kraków, Poland, I went to India in search of some “real” yoga. What I found, even before I came to India, was the guy I would spend the next four years with, get married to, and learn very much from.

We met in a Thai massage course in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. He was excited that I was going to India, but encouraged me to start a daily yoga practice on my own. He encouraged me to not only do asanas- but also pranayama, meditation, and different cleansing practices, such as rinsing the nose every morning, and scraping the tongue. This was my first major step into my yoga practice: to actually do it. Every day. On my own. Wherever I was.

Squeezed, dark, smelly hostel rooms in Bangladesh and India- it didn’t matter. I did it, every day, from then on, in the beginning sort of as a reason to impress him.

Earthworm

To make him want me more. But it changed my life. Forever, I would dare to say.

Once in India I had only spent a few days in the ashram when I got ill and had to leave. Thanks to an incredible Italian soul, Giulio I was taken to a doctor in a town called Gokarna.

I had cerebral malaria and spent the next two months of my yoga/India/spiritual-experience staring into a ceiling fan, alternating with staring into the cracked wall of my toilet.

Once I was ready to move on in my spiritual journey, I got salmonella. I gave up. I left India. In the airplane, I stared at the runway, and said “I’ll be back”

When I came back to Europe I was due to move to London and to an undergraduate degree in Middle Eastern religions and Arabic. The university was SOAS- School of Oriental and African studies.

My dream was to become a journalist, like the Norwegian woman Åsne Seierstad, and report from the war, like she did from Iraq.

But as yoga, India, malaria and guru-boyfriend had influenced me strongly, I changed my degree to the Study of Religions, where I could focus on Indian philosophy, Sanskrit, and yoga.

This was my first “cliché” of yoga: the 18 year older boyfriend, who is half Indian, but grown up in the US.  A yoga-teacher who “lives his yogapath” and talks like a guru and wears patchouli.

Completing my degree in Indian philosophy with a final dissertation about the Shiva-worshippers who eat dead human flesh, drink from human skulls and dance and laugh like Shiva, I worked in the Jivamukti yoga centre at the front desk and saw a Western yoga studio from the “inside”. There, I got the opportunity to study with some incredible yoga teachers who passed through, and also witht he resident teachers at the centre, who were all very professional and creative.

My whole life was about yoga, India,  and philosophy.

On top of that, to go all the way, I went vegan, and soon, 50% raw. I ate only organic foods, I didn’t drink alcohol, never smoked, didn’t eat sugar, didn’t eat any white rice/pasta/bread etc. My diet was very strict and took a lot of my time.

It was all some kind of a competition with my guru-boyfriend. I wanted to be better than him. I wanted to impress him. I wore Indian jingly-wingly thingies around my ankles and I went to all possible meditations, satsangs, kirtans, chant sessions and moon dances in London.

I consumed yoga classes and workshops like a shopaholic does shopping. I went to Sikh gatherings in northeast London to try chakra-chanting, I went to the Buddhist centre in Bethnal Green to try blue-light-healing meditation. My home was full of incense, moon-calendars and growing sprouts.

I loved yoga and I hated yoga.

But I kept doing it. In classes, or on my own mat, at home.

 

I hated my professors, being so dry about yoga and philosophy.

I hated yoga teachers, being so ignorant of the scriptures, background and language of yoga.

Eventually, I was extremely thin. I was dizzy. I left the keys in the fridge and went out to my uni, always hours late, from doing yoga for hours.

I lost hair. I had candida. I felt as if I was walking on clouds.

I went to every single alternative healer possible in London. I thought that I was purifying myself with my diet, and that “truth” was coming out. I felt as if I was getting closer and closer to the “real me” by detoxing, purifying, cleansing.

In a way, I guess I was. I was so ultra sensitive eventually, that I could not sit next to someone on the bus, who smelled like they ate meat, or felt as if they were really angry.

I was too transparent to function in a huge city like London.I paid hundreds of pounds for naturopathy, healers, mediums, flower remedies, etc.

When I eventually decided to try the last option- acupuncture- I called them and said “I’m losing hair” which was my main worry, superficially enough.

I went to a Chinese Medicine School, where the students treated patients for a discounted rate. This meant I could go once a week. It also meant they used me as an example in their course, because I was such an “interesting case”. In Chinese Medicine, the state of the blood is one of the most important indicators of the health, and my blood was lacking a very big amount of vitality.

Iron.

The student asked the main doctor/teacher at the school to come and see me one of the first few times I went. They went through everything together, checked my pulse, tongue, eyes, everything. He finally stated: “If you don’t start eating meat and drink wine and have fun soon, you’ll die.” Then he left the room.

I was shocked and could not believe what he had just said. But I knew deep down, that he was right. I was denying myself fun, nutrition, freedom, laughter and being young. I was living a strict life, following rules, depleting instead of nourishing.

All in the name of “yoga”- the yoga I was reading about, hearing about, and the yoga I wanted to “achieve.”

I also became friends with a yoga teacher at the time. A blond whirlwind, teaching at the studio I was working at, who drank wine every day, ate red meat, smoked, danced, had an Italian lover, a wild daughter, but who was one of the most light and radiant beings I’d ever met. She was healthy, smiling, full of bouncy laughter.

I talked to her a lot regarding my health. She said she’s had the same journey- but that she now ate both sprouts and spinach, and drank espressos and ate croissants, too, and that she had found balance. That she felt no less yogic. That she felt much more in tune with herself. Following her own body.

I went to buy sushi. Feng Sushi by Notting Hill gate. I walked into Hyde Park and sat down. Once I started eating, I felt as if I had been starving for years. The feeling of being full, feeling whole, spread through me, and I felt such a deep gratefulness from my body. I knew I had to start to listen to that feeling now, and not what others were telling me, and what I was reading in books.

After finishing my degree and time in London, I wanted away from him.

Escaping him in order to free myself from his “teaching-grip”, I promised I would do a yoga teacher training because he always thought I would make the perfect complement to his teaching (his dream was that we travelled the world teaching together, me being his flexible, blond assistant, wearing bindis and making pretty altars) but I had other dreams- which I couldn’t define, and so we had a constant conflict.

I knew I had to do a yoga teacher training at one point, just to feel if it was “for me”. I had been reading “Eat pray love” which had deeply affected even though it is a literary not so advanced piece of writing, it is still a journey that someone had the guts to do, and it touched me and encouraged me to get out there again on my own.

The yoga teacher training became my excuse and my reason to be able to go to Italy, just like Liz in the book did. The one training I found “happened” to be in the south of Italy, and I disconnected from the world, and created my dreamtrip to Italy.

Without phone and without checking my Facebook and emails, I journeyed through romantic beauty, landing in Tuscany, going with a train to Roma, train again to Calabria- feeling so alive and beautiful- and finally arriving by train to the southeast of Italy, my yoga teacher training destination. I did my yoga practice in train stations, dorm rooms, beaches and …anywhere I could.

Yoga, my constant travel companion.

Tim van Kempen

The training was held in a beautiful retreat in the incredible landscape of southeastern Italy. Surrounded by millions of olive trees, vineyards and little round houses called “trulli”, we embarked on a three-week-long course in Vinyasa Flow Yoga with a very good, and very experienced teacher.

I couldn’t focus at all. My mind was all over the place. Leaving a four year-long relationship, leaving London, finishing a degree… Life was somehow feeling like one big ending, and I was looking for something to hold on to. I became critical of the teaching, by relying a little too much on my academic studies, and I was a little bit arrogant towards the teacher and the course. This only damaged me in the end- I missed out on a lot of things, while “being there” physically, my mind was completely off into pink clouds. I missed out, unfortunately.

The pattern was the same as before; I was arrogant towards yoga teachers, whom I felt were using the terminology and the teachings disrespectfully, and at the same time, I couldn’t stand the “dry” take on the practice of yoga, that an academic view would have- so I was silent in the classes, with a constant inner conflict.

 

Then the next “yoga-cliché” happened.

The people who ran the retreat were an Italian family. One of the people was called Angelo. I fell head over heels. I dumped my guru-boyfriend. I stayed after the yoga course. I stayed in the yoga-ashram. I was in love, I was blind. The “spiritual family” of the yoga retreat damaged me more than I can describe. They named themselves “spiritual” and I had to “follow” them if I wanted to be there.

And I did, because I was so in love, more in love than I have ever been in my life. So I “followed” but it hurt me. I “followed” on the outside, for the sake of being so in love, but my insides were boiling with rage towards their ego-based ruling over other peoples’ lives.

I got pregnant. According to the gurus, it was thanks to them, because they felt that I couldn’t get pregnant, because my body was not functioning properly, because I had not been a real woman until I was brought there, where they would help me become one.

The baby I was carrying was going to be a “big man” who would “save the world”- thanks to the fact that they had “channeled him to be born on their sacred ground.”

In fact, I was carrying the next Messias, they said.

It was a yoga-retreat, but I was not allowed to do my yoga. Only karma yoga allowed- meaning hard work like cleaning and cooking, for us girls. The boys did gardening and building work outside in the fields and gardens.

I did it in secret. I sneaked into my room to do a few minutes of yoga every day. Which made me realize how strongly it is a part of me.

Even though I cannot handle authority and teachers and “gurus” in yoga- I become arrogant and critical towards them- the essence yoga is so much part of me, that I cannot breathe without it.

I left Italy, broken down, crying every waking minute. I had not been allowed to be me. They were “helping” me become a “better woman”- but I just cried. All the time.

Back in Sweden, I spent a few weeks staring into the ceiling. Full of pain and anxiety, I woke up at night in panic attacks.

I had a miscarriage. The gurus said they “knew I’d had an abortion.”

One day I literally sat up, and knew that life is not going to wait for me while I’m grieving. I decided to try it. To teach it myself.

I got two great yoga jobs, only after sending two easy e-mails. One in a great studio in my hometown and the other in an amazingly beautiful retreat in Ibiza. Both bosses were called Daniel.

I chose Ibiza. Ibiza changed my life. Thank you, yoga. I taught for two months and then I could not stand it.

I hated it when people asked me questions about their life, their bodies, their well being. I hated it that they saw me as more accomplished in some ways because I can put my foot behind my head. I hated it so badly that I escaped the job. One of the greatest regrets of my life, as I now spend a lot of time in Ibiza, and would have loved to have that job back.

But I have issues with yoga. Huge issues. I take a class, and I get so critical. Annoyed, critical.

Not that i’m super advanced or anything- I just don’t like the “teacher” thing. Still, it’s the one thing that haunts my life and has marked me. Teachers. “Teachers”. Good ones and bad ones. True ones and false ones.

I cannot stand being taught, and I cannot stand being a teacher. And still, I am drawn to this topic, to these people.

I think of it as so ridiculous that someone talks, in front of a group of students, about yoga, as being something they “know”. It’s hard for me to explain, but I feel as if it’s something which we cannot claim to “know”. Honestly. it’s 3500 years old, and it comes from India. How can a western teacher stand in front of a class, and with confidence, teach “their” style of yoga- when it’s something that has been passed down for thousands of years, from guru to disciple? Or is that it..? Because it is a passing-down, once we “know” it, we are allowed to claim the rights to teach it?

So after my escape from teaching, I withdrew completely from the public yoga-world. I started doing CD’s and DVD’s at home- only. For years, I only did my yoga, for me, with myself. I studied with world renowned teachers such as Shiva Rea and Sean Corn- in my own home.

Then I had to give India another go, like I had promised.

And hated the ashram. Hated it.

I decided to give teaching another try. I couldn’t leave it alone. In Sweden, in the dullness of a mirrored gym-room it went well. I did it for 6 months- the time I was supposed to do it. I hated myself for the mistakes I made. Somedays it went well and I almost wished I could have taken my own class. Some days I felt so ridiculous. But I thought of it as part of my personal evolution, to put myself through the fire of doing something that is such a huge issue for me.

zkvrev

Then I moved to Barcelona, where I saw myself teaching classes in English, to foreigners. I tried twice to set up a class. I backed out in the last moment. It’s like there’s this invisible wall between me and teaching yoga and I can’t find the door to go through.

 

I do it every day. Every single day. I cannot live without yoga. I enjoy it so much. I feel so good when I do it. I feel even more if I don’t do it. Then I fall apart. It’s like I’m held up by it. I’m strong, steady, pain-free. I’m aware, in touch, in connection with myself. It’s so much part of my daily routine, that it is equal to brushing my teeth and drinking my coffee.

So I do this shit-job now, which kills me. The 100th shit job in my life. How much shit am I going to take? I have dreams. They are definitely not to have shit jobs. But to teach yoga? Not sure…But I do know that I would like to be part of a yoga community.

Or, at least be able to pop into a class, which challenges me, and makes me feel connected to others, too. Without being critical. But it’s so hard for me to find. If a teacher pronounces a Sanskrit word wrong, I turn to this arrogant Ego-idiot, and I can’t stand the class anymore.

I would like to let go of this, and take my practice out of my privacy, and share it, somehow, without negativity. With light, positive vibes. Without fear of becoming trapped in some false teacher’s sticky ego net. Without fear of becoming a starry-eyed disciple.

So I received a gift from my beautiful friend Tine. A class pack of 10, in a studio not too far from my house. I called the woman. She was a bitch. (Sorry). She could not fit me into her classes when it suited me. Only Monday nights. How un-flexible can she be? And she’s supposed to be a yoga-teacher?

But it started something in me. I started looking around my neighborhood, Grácia, for yoga studios and yoga flyers. And man, are there a million of them! So here we go. I decided. It’s time to take my yoga out into the world and share without judgment and fear.

I found a flyer for free trial class. I emailed the girl, she is called Sofia. Her flyers were everywhere in the hood and I took one. They are yellow and have a big Kermit from the muppet-show on them. I didn’t like the design at all.

She said to come the following day; tonight. I was nervous and I felt bad- for her. That I would be in her class. Me- the perfectionist, the arrogant critic, who cannot even teach her own class without hating herself badly and wanting to run as far as she can from herself.

But I went, and tried to really keep an open mind and not judge. I had trouble finding the place, and almost escaped. But it was too late. I was there.

Hola, two kisses. She was Argentinian. I liked her voice.

The room was simple. Nothing special. Some white IKEA-curtains. Ugly, very bad yoga mats. I had of course brought my own Jade yoga mat from organic, very grippy, rubber. It’s orange and I love it. We do a lot of downward facing dog on it… Nevermind, what really bothered me was that she called downward dog “postura de la montana” – is it really ok to change the name like that???- and then I thought her “aiiiiiiiii” sound between every posture sounded way too sexual, but ok.

The practice was super simple and mega beginners, and I could tell she was also a beginner teacher. I did enjoy it though- I liked her voice and I liked her energy, and I felt I could relax and just allow myself to be guided. Afterwards, she came to me, and asked which yoga I normally do. I asked her which style this was, and she said “it’s my style” and then I hated her a little bit.

But what I felt, when walking home though the cold, empty streets (FC Barcelona is playing) was that I could do that- and I could do it so much better. What is actually stopping me?

I have so much issues regarding teachers and teaching, that it is stopping me from doing something that I have spent 10 years, one marriage, one degree, one (slightly lost) yoga teacher training, a lot of work- paid and unpaid- and one spiritual cult to learn about! What is the problem?

I have decided to throw myself into the yoga world of Barcelona. It is in a language I only speak so-so; therefore I can go slowly and just start by observing. I don’t need to arrive with arrogance and ego-fear-competition-problems. I can try to arrive as a foreigner with a language-barrier, and just go slowly.

I need to start to take my yoga practice out of the darkroom, and develop it into a beautiful, vibrant, and alive image.

Breathing with life. Where it belongs.

Fearless, free of judgment, and with an ability to hear the teaching come through the teacher. Not the teacher come through the teaching. If that makes sense.

Tomorrow: Yoga Dinámico Mandiram, Grácia. 09:15. Phew…

~

Editor: Hayley Samuelson

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 Lindahas been practicing yoga for 10 years. She has completed a degree at SOAS, University of London, in Indian Philosophy. She is a certified Vinyasa Flow Yoga teacher, and currently completing her Master degree in Photojournalism in Barcelona, Spain. She has had a rocky and deep, messy and exquisite journey in her yoga-life. She is currently writing a book about her experiences with yoga.  Visit her Blog: lindadreams.blogspot.com or Flickr: flickr.com/lindusja

 

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28 Responses to “Riding the Magic Yoga Carpet–False Gurus, Malaria, Miscarriage & Cults. ~ Linda Karlsson”

  1. Tanya Lee Markul Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Posted to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
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  2. Trr says:

    Ha Ha I identify

  3. trouwbeurs says:

    Het laatste nieuws over trouwen.

  4. BrousAir says:

    I feel like I went on that journey with you. Thanks for sharing your story. I try to learn from the paths of others in hopes that mine will somehow get a head start. Looking forward to reading your book.

  5. Linda says:

    thanks for your comments. please keep posting your comments- whether good or bad, negative or positive.

    a friend of mine form London who now has a yogastudio posted on her facebook page. one of the comments was
    “hated it. self obsessed, egotistical… poor people of barcelona.”

    what do you think?
    i was personally shocked as i never thought of myself as self obsessed or egotistical. but actually i might be- at least in the eyes of another. we all have our own way of perceiving things.

    thank you!

    besos de barcelona (and all those poor people…;)

  6. BrousAir says:

    Well, I think they may have misunderstood parts of your story and perhaps didn’t finish it. I think you took the ultimate journey inside your thoughts and came out the other side a better less ego driven person. I for one appreciate when people are brave enough to share that sort of inside their own thoughts point of view. Its good for me to know that other people are finding the way out of the ego. Maybe I have hope just yet. Thanks again.

  7. @lindusjaa says:

    thank you BrousAir for your thoughts.
    yeah, my flatmate also told me that they probably didn't finish the story.
    anyway, everyone's entitled their opinion.
    i have gone deep inside, and yes, it's MY story, so yes, it is egotistical in a way, as it is about ME. i can only tell my story, not the ones of others…but i think we all share similar journeys, those of us who "search"- in one way or another, we are all connected.
    much love and thanks for commenting!

  8. kalimama says:

    I can so totally relate to your story. Loving and hating. Critical and judgemental (about myself and others). And I too cannot live without yoga. I have taught and think I am a good teacher, but I have no confidence in it. I do love being in classes and I am trying to be more conscious about not being a hater. I travel a lot and like to check out different teachers and studios. And I practice at home. I so hear your and walk with you on your journey.

    PS, in Barcelona, lots of people go to Yoga Studio (near universitat), but I discovered a place in Ramblas (eeks! I know, I try to avoid that area too) called YogaBindu and enjoyed it for the simplicity.

    • @lindusjaa says:

      thank you for your comment! i know yoga bindu, i met the guy who ran it for a while. apparently he stopped recently due to dramas and fights with the other owner.. ha ha! drama also exists in yoga. we're not all shantih shantih people- maybe we do yoga because we need to get more shantih…
      …maybe the critical judgmental part of us is also the part which would like to be "fair" to the teaching…

      anyway, thanks again and love to you on your journey!

  9. I don't think you're egotistical or self obsessed, but you do sound very judgemental and closed off. I say that with kindness and compassion because I know what it feels like. It sounds to me like you're on your path. Opening to others and allowing may help. Sometimes I've learned deeply from teachers whose classes I truly disliked the first time through. Scratching up against a part of yourself that needs to be looked at, worked out, set free or opened up can feel very much like a total unbearable "ick" and I think we tend to blame that on the person who is saying, "Pull your tailbone in and breathe," when it's really all about not wanting to deal with our own stuff.

    • @lindusjaa says:

      thank you Melissa for your response and for taking the time to read and to comment.

      yes, i agree. in fact, this can be applied to many things in life- to at first really strongly dislike something, which later turns out to be that, which we learnt the most from. because the ego steps in and doesn't want to. because the ego thinks it knows everything already. and needs to protect it little vulnerable being hiding down there in the heart.

      thanks again, and blessings…

  10. Peter says:

    Thank you for the wonderful, authentic article! I believe all sincere seekers have to travel this path of discernment; slowly but surely separating the bullshit from the truth. Our sincere intent is what evokes the grace to get us through. So we wallow in the mud of samsara with our "issues" all the while faithful to our sadhana and slowly the lotuses start blossoming.

    On a practical note, you're such a pitta! I am too so I can understand the anger towards the sloppy and the inept. My guru (yes, he's a real one radiating transcendent grace; I've been with him 20 years) points out that this tendency of anger only comes from a clear consciousness that sees what could be and is frustrated by its absence. Good luck to you. I think you'd make a wonderful teacher!

    • @lindusjaa says:

      thank you Peter!
      yes i'm the ultimate pitta!!!
      don't know if you're into astrology- but i have a conjunction with mars and the sun in capricorn, which makes me astrologically speaking highly competitive and almost like a bulldozer once i've made up my mind about something.
      this is of course good and bad. it took me many places, and it made me learn a lot- but it also made me ill. all that negativity and obsessive behavior, led me to burn out in many ways. and when i didn't burn out in myself, life made sure i did, in one way or another.

      thanks again, and many blessings on your path.

  11. Bohemian Buddhist says:

    Hej Linda,

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    It’s a valuable step to develop the capacity to witness the ego. To not judge it and then accept it is a rewarding next. It has a purpose and a role to play. Ego is not to be fought, but to be loved and embraced. The ego-driven ambition to be better people than we already are often results in wanting to “change” something that is innately who we are, our authentic core. Creating more identities to replace one another instead of letting go of the whole concept of identity and "just live". With the ego, because it serves us and is here to stay.

    But well, considering your background you have heard and read all these words before. It is not meant to be a lecture, but merely as a reflection on my own thoughts.

    I’ve been on my own learning journey through martial arts, meditation, yoga and studies (body, mind, spirit). It has funnily enough led me to currently live in Sweden, finishing a second master degree. Ego at play here as well; not finding my place in society. Not wanting to conform to society, but because of that trying so hard to prove myself worthy. However, my period here in Karlskrona has had a tremendous impact so far. Layer after layer being peeled of in all my practices. It’s an adventurous and fascinating trip saturated with overwhelming experiences and emotions. The right and most beautiful people show up at the right moment…just like it is always said they will. To me those are clear signals of a changing perception, as they are reflections of myself. Acceptance. I am loving myself more every day.

    If I am ever in Barcelona I will join your yoga class for sure.

    Älska dig själv först. Lycka till med din yoga!

    • @lindusjaa says:

      hej!

      tack så mycket för din kommentar och vad roligt att du befinner dig i Sverige… och Karlskrona av alla ställen! Han jag bor med här i Barcelona är faktiskt från Blekinge, och jag var ofta där när jag var barn.
      Hoppas att du kan njuta av den vackra naturen och de friska luften!

      Sweden is such a hard place to find yourself in, but as you say, the right people do show up at the exact right time in life. No matter if in Sweden or Uganda or Japan. It will always be like that if we stay open to it…

      Thanks for your thoughts, i really appreciate it!

      kram
      Linda

  12. Madelain Burgoyne says:

    Hey girl!

    I am a new yoga teacher… For the first 2 yrs I was a very sceptical yogi, judging yoga and it's origins and all the dogma that comes with it. Boy was that a journey… but i kept returning for more. The funny thing is… that I was just stepping out of a dogmatic and strict religion. I was born a Mormon. Good people and it's a beautiful faith… but my soul and heart was yearning for something more.
    Yoga came after the birth of my son and long story short… I suffered abandonment from my husband, post natal depression, loss of what used to be my belief system, moving out our place into parents in laws place…
    Enter Yoga into my life… It saved it.

    long journey between then and now… but I learn yoga off youtube. The last two years I have been a dedicated yogi (consistent practice) lost the weight from having a baby.

    Here comes the but part. I am still sceptical of what other yogis think i should be doing in order to call me a true yogi. I have not read the Gitta, Upanishads or other yogi texts, I don't know all the yoga Sutras by heart or even all the Sanskrit names of the Chakra system. Funny… 'cause I have my first level certification as a teacher (yep, I have issues with my training too even with the teacher who trained me. I aid way too much money and the training was not up to my level of saticfactory, so I hear you! Loud and clear). Butt, I learned a shit load of other things form her… Life lessons more than yoga lessons LOL.
    I would probably piss you off with how i pronounce Sanskrit names for the postures, and i hardly ever use the Sanskrit names anyway. I make my own stuff up too. It' pisses me off when teachers just use sanskrit… I cring when a new student to yoga goes to a studio and feels completely lost. Thanks God I didn't go to a studio as a newbe, cause I would have thought they were a bunch of nutters just trying to show off how smart they were casue they could sprout out tongue twisters… Bunch of snobs. (pet peeve)
    I don't wish to disrespect the lineage of yoga, but look at the age we live in… The universal principles that are relevant for way back then become relevant in this day… just with a different context. I'm not a traditional yogi, I don't have to wear mala beads around my neck to prove it either. I don't belong to a style in particular. I live my own yoga, because my life has the space for that…. I have created that with the best of my ability, with what i have in reach with the resources i have and means to accomplish.

    I'd get irritated being taught by a teacher like you, spliffing (and no that's not a real word, although I really think it should be) out Sanskrit words (no disrespect) but i can't stand teachers who are so set on traditionalism… I guess that stems from my Mormon background of pet peeves for dogmatic ideals. One reason i'll never take on a guru. I don't feel the need for myself to go visit India, to learn from one of the most popular descendants of so and so. Who cares? I hate yogi's who show off their yoga education as if they are more of an authentic teacher just becasue they have spend two years in whichever part In India, learning from that very old yogi who teaches Ashtunga… what's his name again (patanjali, did i spell that incorrectly?)
    I have a body, I have a mind, I am a laboratory for experimentation and self discovery. Let me just add that it doesn't mean that I don't learn from other experienced teacher or read yoga book (in fact I study books etc quite lot), of course i do, But i adapt my yoga in-line to who i am and to what i need.
    Did you know that although the posture side of yoga is however many thousands of years old, that because of modern science we have improved and adapt many of the original postures? Just saying…. Wisdom can be added to wisdom, so that we can adapt it, enrich it, empower ourselves and others… After all… Isn't that what yoga is about? Drawing out the inner wisdom and applying it for union?

    I like you very much, because you were brave enough to put your raw thoughts out there. And then you get people like me commenting. Funny thing is… I'm slowly sneaking out my own shell of rawness… even as a teacher. I hate cookie cutter classes and feel that teachers should be honest, real, and not hide behind smooth yoga voices or smiles. I learn the most from teacher who are able to show that they are having a shit day and observe how they bring themselves to centre. So Weldon for putting it out there… raw and all.
    >>>comment continued below<<<

    • @lindusjaa says:

      thank you dear Madelain! i really appreciated your response. the fact that you are coming from a mormon background really makes your words weigh more heavy to me. you know what you're talking about, regarding dogma and teachings and teachers that are stuck and stiff and are splitting out perfect words.

      the truth is, that when i teach, i am nowhere near perfection. i confuse right and left, i forget the sequence, i do the class either too short or too long, i talk about things that might not be appropriate… it just happens,a nd just flows out- sometimes i'm good, sometimes i'm bad, and i judge myself when i'm bad, of course.
      and it's so much easier to take a class from someone else and criticize them and sit there on your own mat and be on your high horses. kind of like those football fans who sit in the pub, drink tons of beer, and scream at th players to get a grip, and do better, run faster, etc.

      wisdom can be added to wisdom… i really love that. thank you sweetie!

      xx

  13. Madelain Burgoyne says:

    >>>Comment continued from above… Sorry for lengthy reply… guess i have a lot to say<<<
    Your journey is quite something. Stop fighting yourself so hard girl!
    This doesn't work for everyone… But It's the simple things in life that bring the most joy into my life… And boy do i know it, 'cause right now… my life is not so simple.
    (think separation, I'm moving out… I have nothing, no formal education or degree to find a high paying job, I can't provide for my 3yr old, no family support at all to help out, moving in to house share, earning a little money teaching yoga…) but i know that this will be temporary and despite all this crazy turmoil… I'm happy… because I'm finally following my heart!

    Follow yours… Enjoy your yoga trip to Barcelona… If you learn only one thing form the teacher (even if her pronunciation of Sanskrit is shot to shit) then the trip was worth it.

    Good luck girl… Rock your own world!

  14. GeeDubs says:

    i’m sorry, but you really sound like a miserable person. please consider some sort of western medicine–perhaps anti-depressants…or lots of B-vitamins.

    i hope this next go with yoga will do something positive for you.

  15. [...] I am amazed at how much of people’s time and energy is devoted to this recycling activity, “It is not supposed to be that way; it is supposed to be this (some other) way.” People are often invested in the way things should [...]

  16. ihvnid says:

    I'm sorry darling, but it seems that yoga is not working for you…
    There is not ONE word about god.. or the divine.. or something bigger than yourself in that whole text.

    Just me, me, me, me, me .. and me.

    What is yoga about? Making money? Lovers? Practice? Work?

    …..

    • @lindusjaa says:

      hi darling!

      me me me..yes, it's all about ME! this is MY story, about me, about finding MYSELF!

      not one word about God, the Divine, or something greater than myself… NO!

      perhaps you would take a moment to read the next few sentences.

      i was born with a heavily catholic mother. she felt guilt, suffering, and victimization as part of her existence, and she imposed those feelings on me. she felt as if she was a slave to life, and she wanted me to follow in her footsteps.

      i refused to let something as silly as RELIGION rule my life, and i vowed that i'd find my true spirituality inside MYSELF.
      of course, as the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, i went to search in a field not too far from that which i had come from, as that was what i knew.
      i felt as if i went the opposite way from my conditioned religion, by going "east" and finding a practice in which i could get to know myself, and connect deeper to my own self, my core.

      according to me, this is where the divine is. God. something greater than myself.
      myself- the connection to myself.

      i was conditioned so heavily, that it was indescribably difficult to hear my own voice. it was as if i had to go through forests of sticky spiderweb- for years- to get closer to ME.

      i like to tell people who say they are not flexible enough to do yoga, that flexible people do yoga to get less flexible because they need to strengthen their joints to avoid hyperextension and possible future pain and problems in the body.
      we all find balance in yoga. too flexible find stability and strength, while too stiff finds looseness.

      Maybe too religious and too trusting of "the divinge/god/the other" finds more connection to the SELF and the SELF connected finds a greater trust for the opposite/God/Divine??

      this is my journey…the "outer" one. i have also written a part II where i describe my "inner" feeling as it has crystallised more and more lately. now that i'm getting myself out there by exposing my story, it has all become so much clearer.

      yoga, to me, is the ultimate practice to find union. with the self, with the divine- whatever. doesn't matter. we find balance with that in life which we NEED to find balance, as we all come into this world conditioned by religions, psychological and social issues, culture, language, economical situation.

      and by the way, i find religion such a dogmatic thing of the past. we are now just in the beginning of the Age of Aquarius, having left the suffering, victim, dogmatic period of religions and institutions and religious leaders behind to connect to a higher level. by connecting to ourselves, discovering who we really are- and above all. ARE NOT- we can connect to those around us who vibrate similarly.

      thanks again for your comment!!!
      blessings on your journey
      Linda xx

  17. @lindusjaa says:

    thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read my story and to make a comment. i really appreciate it.

    i have written a part II which i will hopefully be able to publish soon, which is more about my "inner" yoga.

    if anyone would like to discuss with me in private, please send me an email at: linda8maria@gmail.com
    or check my blog at http://lindadreams.blogspot.com

    blessings..linda xx

  18. I'd liked your last line and it made sense!

  19. ikchel says:

    quite a ride it has been, thus far!!! Seems no matter where you go, there you are.

  20. Kwun says:

    Hi Linda, I think most of us are on a path, searching, maybe for the meaning of life, or for peace in the moment. Yoga is a path, but is only one of the paths. Time flies by too fast, and if we dwell on a question, and just that moment of clinging, we will never be free. I hope you find your path to freedom soon! All the best!

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