Judgment & F-Bombs. ~ Isabelle Casey


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A judging mind stifles authenticity.

My judging mind surfaced in an instructor-friend of mine’s workshop. I will refer to this instructor-friend as Potty Mouth (PM).  PM bombarded us with f-bombs, dropping them one after another in this workshop.

Rattled, my body reacted to the f-bombs with the sensation of hot strikes of little lighting bolts. My mind began to chatter. I was deep in analytical mode. If any of my teacher trainers were here they would be floored, I thought. Then my mind began to mechanically process useless thoughts. The space for mindfulness was gone. I was lost in my head.

Suddenly, I came to a realization. I snapped out of it. Eureka, I got it! The f-bomb worked its magic. PM was not trying to offend anyone in class, but teach a lesson in judgment and authenticity in a colorful way.

In this moment, I saw how conditioned we allow ourselves to be.

We believe that using swear words is wrong. That in itself is a judgment, right?

Let us consider the other side. Have you ever had an experience of deep joy like biting into the most sumptuous feast? The only appropriate expression to punctuate the moment was, “f*ck me that was delicious!” Maybe you haven’t said it, but I’m sure you’ve felt it. So what’s the difference?

“Dork, dorky, nerd!” my siblings and I would banter liberally and playfully back in the day. “Knock it off!” my dad would reprimand my siblings and I. Was this crass and offensive?

What is the lesson? What is the mantra?

We give things meaning and believe it. We believe we need to do certain things in order to live a complete life. We believe we need to fit into some kind of projected image. The words are not the issue here. How we use our words is what really matters. Colorful words are merely my authentic, momentary expression. What you may hear as my truck driver’s mouth is actually a decoration. I am decorating my sentences with little gems that paint robust pictures to convey joy, excitement and my passion.

I shared my realization with PM. We came to the conclusion that our students understand the point of us using colorful language in class. If it’s authentic to you, then own it. Who gives a f*ck what people think. Got it? Seriously, we do spend a ton of time focusing on what doesn’t matter and giving things meaning. I really got the message.

I am liberated.

I feel great about who I am and what I bring to the yoga table in my life and my work. I am creating good karma. Look into your yoga community for authentic intentions and non-judgment.

As students, we are ripe and receptive to learning. We act upon the teachings and begin to integrate them into our lives. We create space and clarity about who you are.

Yogi beware. Judgmentcan send us back down the slippery slope to staying the same. Judgment reverts us to old thought patterns. Judgment can make us try to be something that we are not. Defy judgment. See your words before you put them out there. Pay attention to what creates your actions. Ask: “Do I need this? Does this new way of thinking support who I really am and where I am on my path? How are you using your words? Are they weapons? What is my intention behind this?” Respond positively and be content.

Yoga teachers are not sage-like beings who live off the grid, drink kombucha, and chant themselves to sleep. Okay maybe some do, but that does not make you less of a yogi.

The illusion of trying to create the perfect yogic life has the potential to leave students feeling alienated, disconnected and defeated. As instructors, it is unrealistic to hold the flame for everyone. We are there to share our experiences and perspectives and who we are. Own it! If you are a teacher demo something that is challenging for you, maybe fall out of a pose.

Indeed, the student is the real teacher. There is no need to put yoga teachers up on a pedestal. To practice non-judgment let go of expectations, be authentic, be real. After all I am who I am and you are who you are. Why does it have to change when we lead a class or take one?

I am just me. You get me. I don’t wear a yoga teacher hat for 75 minutes, then switch gears as if I’m a completely different person. When I’m outside the studio you get me. You get that I am breaking through ideals and expectations of what one should be like.

I love Nirvana and Kirtan. I love being in the moment. I rock checkered Vans and yoga pants all the time. I love passionate conversation. I love sharing things that I’m learning or have learned. I am humble. I practice non judgement. And I truly love when I am in the presence of others who allow their authentic selves to show.

This is who I am. Don’t judge me.

Isabelle Casey is a yoga instructor from Atlanta, GA. Her most profound teacher is life itself. You can learn more about her at www.isabellecasey.com.



Editor: Carrie Stiles

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20 Responses to “Judgment & F-Bombs. ~ Isabelle Casey”

  1. __MikeG__ says:

    Judgement is a integral component in discernment and forming an opinion. Only judgements based on negative emotional/intellectual states such fear, hate ignorance, arrogance, close mindedness, faulty logic etc. are problematic. In order to truly practice non-judgement you would have to be completely neutral on all subjects and never have any opinions.

    Do you think rape and murder are wrong? If so, then you just made a judgement. Have a favorite restaurant? If so, then you used your judgement. Love Nirvana? Yep, there's another judgement. Judging yourself to be free of judgement is in itself a (faulty) judgement.

    Can we please stop promoting the new age non-judgment fallacy now? Pretty please?

  2. Mamaste says:

    Just intro'd on FB to: I'm Not Spiritual & Yoga.

  3. DanielleDD says:

    Ah, I love Bryan Kest!

  4. HonestOpinion says:

    Is anything sacred to you? Does the practice of yoga invite and expand a sense of sacredness to your life? The opposite of sacred is profane. It's a personal choice, but I find that when I hear people throwing around profanity it just sucks all of the sacred out of the room. I respect your feelings about it though. Glad to see you can talk yourself into being ok with it. It's a nice trait to have.

  5. Anthony Ravenna says:

    Well f**king said….. Om shanti 😉

  6. Shaina says:

    It seems that there are some very judgmental people reading said blog. I thought it was awesome. I suggest not judging the author and making her wrong for her opinions. After all nothing is right or wrong, it just is.

  7. Jiffy says:

    I like Jesus example of non-judgment: I believe the story goes " as the the nails were going into his body he told his followers to forgive them and not to judge them " I know this is lofty and idealistic of me and I may not be there yet but I do see myself headed in that direction. I see myself being less and less judgmental as I become more and more aware of that tendency.. This is what I see yoga's highest purpose as " creating awareness "
    This gives an opportunity to " know thyself " and as we see ourselves we can stop feeding harmful habits! As we stop feeding anything it starves and dies!

  8. Jiffy says:

    Oh yeah! Well fucking said Isabelle!

  9. ss723 says:

    As they say to thine own self be true. If some colorful language is part of who you are and how you communicate then it should not be something that you suppress for the delicate sensibilities of others.

  10. Reanna says:

    Take what you can from this blog. I think the blog can be summed up by this one gesture that Isabelle wrote, "We are there to share our experiences and perspectives and who we are. Own it! If you are a teacher demo something that is challenging for you, maybe fall out of a pose." When I take time to take a yoga class to give time to myself, I hope that I am engulfed by the truest form of a person. A curse word will not offend me. It will only make me embrace that person because they are exactly where they are meant to be…and at that moment I would feel like I am surrounded by a pure person. In return, I get the best gift out of my personal experience by being around someone that is truly real. Much Love Isabelle!

  11. Anna V. says:

    I enjoyed reading this blog. I love that you do so much for the community. Judging what you say, what you do, or who you are would be straying away from what are ultimate goal in life should be…be you.

  12. Julie says:

    Well stated! When I first started teaching, I was afraid to teach anything I wasn't perfect at. And then I thought, "I'm NOT perfect….so why am I caught up in that concern for looking good?!" Now, I just strive for authenticity….warts and all. And so what if I can't do a handstand?! I'm still F*ing trying!!!

  13. LAmourYoga says:

    PART I: The author has written a provocative article.__If we have a thorn in the side we might pause. Do we yelp with pain? Stomp our feet? Cry that it isn't fair and exclaim "How could this happen to ME?". How much do we engage with the experience?__We could test ourselves. How much have we learned in our yoga practice? Can we employ tools of yoga – mudra, dharana, pranayama, for example – to dissipate the sensation of agitation and chose a calmer response? Can we employ a higher awareness with knowledge that this, too, is just a fleeting sensation and will pass?

  14. LAmourYoga says:

    PART II: __But is it enough to observe and accept it all? Should we not employ ahisma? Find self love, set our boundaries, accept that pain in one of us is pain in all of us and so it is true in the reverse. We could choose to remove the thorn and release agitation; to remove that which penetrates painfully and otherwise consumes precious mental and emotive resource? A resource that may be better harnessed toward greater intentions and actions in life with our values of loving kindness. OR We could chose to leave the thorn and use this as an exercise in the continual practice of achieving equanimity in the face of adversity and that which incites pain.

  15. LAmourYoga says:

    PART III: The thorn is the F-bomb. __The F-Bomb is language.__Language is important. It is powerful. It can render the difference between expression of love and abuse. It can evoke hope, or it can express a dismal forecast for depressive circumstance. __ Mantra is expressed through language, and these are words of love. Universal harmony. __ A swear word here and there – well, what is the intention behind it? Maybe a little humour. But when peppered into our language and explosive? When derogatory or defiling in nature toward a person, object or experience? __ I don't mind a little humour. In the right context. __ I don't want to lie in a bed of thorns, however. I have the resiliency to know that I could tolerate it if I must. I could persevere. I could maintain hope, innocence, compassion and love. I simply choose not to tax, wax, or wane my system without cause. I choose not to walk into a bed of thorns if I have the power to choose otherwise. I choose to look for the language of love, not pain. __To thrive, not survive. __ Thank you for awakening the cerebrum and painting the scenario. It sounds like you found the humour in it all.

  16. Julie says:

    For LAmourYoga….unless you are practicing monastic silence you risk offending someone every time you speak. No one has the power to control another person's inference to your comments. Assuming you are not saying something with the intention to offend, you cannot control if other people are offended by your comments. It all comes down to intent. That's the only part of the equation any of us can control. I could say "Great F* job!" and in the same conversation say "Thanks be God!" And maybe someone would be more offended by the use of the word "God" than the word "f*". How do I control that response? Therefore the intent, not the actual word, is what we need to be reminded of every time we jump to judgement. Why get hung up on a word?! That's missing the point entirely.

  17. LAmourYoga says:

    Read Part III: :"What is the intention…?". Sounds like we are saying something very similar, and on target with the point….

  18. Val says:

    F-bombs, smelly peeps, too bright lights, an asana you didn’t want to do- we have judgements all around us in a yoga class. The practice is in the non-judgement. Stop “should”ing all over yourself and the people around you and take a deep breathe. Beautiful piece, Isabelle!

  19. Heather says:

    One of my favorite lines from this article:
    We are there to share our experiences and perspectives and who we are. Own it! If you are a teacher demo something that is challenging for you, maybe fall out of a pose.

    Thank you for this article Isabelle…enjoyed the read!

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