The recent short video posted on Seane Corn’s Instagram shows the moment she thanked her teacher, Lisa Walford.
One of the many things I love about Seane Corn is her openness in her lineage. She says in her video “Because of you, I am a well trained teacher, so thank you.”
I can completely relate to what she is saying. I was surrounded by the grace of my teachers at a studio called Therapeutic Approach Yoga Studio in Eastern Canada. I was lucky enough to teach regular classes right after I finished my first teacher training program and got to teach there until I made a decision to move to the other side of the world.
When I first started out, there were many classes I showed up to teach and no one would be there. I don’t know how the owners didn’t give up on me. But I remember that particular day, I finally broke down, called one of my teachers expressing something along the lines of, “I’m the worst yoga teacher in the world. You need to tell me now if I should just quit.”
My teachers encouraged me to stay on this path without really advising me to do so. They just sat there, watched me shed tears and talked about this path we were on, alone, together. They gave me homework to read Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach and somehow I felt my renewed sense of determination and commitment as a very brand new yoga teacher. There were many occasions like this. Each time, my teachers never gave me advice per se and each time I felt encouraged to stand back up. Had they not done what they’ve done, I would have been a completely different person leading a completely different life and that thought scares the hell out of me. I’m so happy to be who I am and where I am, because of them.
There is this Indonesian tradition of asking people where they’re from. My sharpened sense of North American mannerism used to get offended by this question like this. But then I learned the importance of being proud of where your origin lies. It’s a very brief short section you get to tell others how you became who you are now. It’s about honouring your perhaps long windy journey with lots of wrong turns, detours, dead ends and even some underground and most importantly admitting to the fact that there were people who helped you out and that you were not alone.
But nowadays, everything is instant success, instant solution, instant this and that with DIY everything and we often fail to acknowledge the process and the people who helped us out on our paths. To honour someone for the path you’ve taken is to honour your lineage. When you honour your lineage, it’s as though you always have that effective compass in your hand wherever you go and you’ll know where you are and where you want to go.
If you pretend you invented it all by yourself, you will be crushed with pressure and pride eventually. Instead I take my compass with me on this long journey to share the lineage of love because even though I may feel like alone sometimes, I am never alone and that way, it’s much much easier to get back up when I fall.
Author: Tomomi Kojima
Editor: Travis May
Photo: Flickr/Seattle Yoga News