September 16, 2012

Dirty Little Secrets: Confessions of the Yogin. ~ Dani McGuire

“Should we all confess our sins to one another we would laugh at one another for lack of originality.”~ Kahil Gibran

Dirty little secrets: we all have them. This is the age to expose them—to shine light on the dark parts of ourselves so that we can choose to live in the light.

In the teacher training that I teach, I ask students to put those dark secrets on paper and throw it into the fire (swaha). Even if we feel like we are not ready to battle that part of ourselves, it is time to at least shine some light on it. We go around the circle and read the secrets of others. They can either say, ”that’s mine,” or just let it be said out loud.

It is sort of like confession and sort of not.

I had to go to confession once after finally becoming Catholic (everything I had wanted to be since I was a little girl). And then became a really terrible Catholic-naughtier than I had been in this life.

I was forced to go to confession (scary music playing!). There I was-sweating, shaking, nauseous. I went into the confessional and spoke of my sins to the priest. There is something about speaking the truth that is powerful but this was not. I didn’t think the priest could relate and, if he could, he certainly couldn’t let me know that I was not alone in my suffering and sinning. I had also not done any work and was still in a bit of denial, searching for the light switch of who I was.

Enter Yoga, the savior in doing my work. 

Fast forward to now…

As we sat in the circle, having done some serious work together over the past six months, listening to each other reading our own secrets we realized that we held many things in common. There was a lightness that surrounded the group.

We do not have to carry around guilt because that keeps us bound and separate; we do not have to keep the secrets hidden because that keeps us stuck and attached to them.

Only by shedding light on the dark parts of ourselves can we begin to transform and move into a higher vibration of happiness. As the dirty secrets of another passed my lips, I realized we were not alone in these circumstances, habits and thought patterns. There was no judgement or condonement. It just was.

To be in the neutral space of nonjudgement and no hierarchy is like a healing salve soothing the soul.

Not only can we take our material possessions, jobs, and yoga practices too seriously, we can take the times we were lost too seriously and become attached to that suffering. All we need is some very serious awareness, persistence and truth for a real awakening and lightening up of this world.


Dani McGuire is a yoga teacher, business owner, yoga therapist, and asana addict that loves love, life, family, food, God, and, of course, yoga. “Since I am unable to quiet the mental chatter and control thirst for earthly pleasures I live, write, and laugh and my human-ness.” Dani leads yoga workshops and teacher trainings, and takes her yoga off the mat through Pranayoga Foundation, a nonprofit teaching yoga to people with cancer and chronic illness. For more about Dani check out her personal website or PranaYoga.


Editor: Sarah Winner

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