Lentil Salad and “Fixing” Other People

lentily goodness!

I was assisting a senior yoga instructor (who is my “mentor” for my yoga teacher training) today when a mother and daughter showed up to the class. The daughter looked about twelve. Braces, flat, prepubecent chest, etc. I thought it was adorable at first; a pre-teen trying their hand at yoga. But as the class progressed, while in down dog, the mom came out of the pose to re-adjust her daughter feet. It wasn’t a big deal, but this bugged me.

For one, thats why I’m in that class, to help adjust people if they do poses incorrectly. Secondly, the adjustment she gave was wrong, and what more, the mom was not aligned properly in her down dog. The mom is not a yoga instructor and I was sure of it since it is a beginners class. Plus, I taken lots of teacher trainings and have been to so many yoga classes that I can tell just from one’s child pose whether or not your new to yoga. She was new, so why was she fixing her daughter?

The funny thing is, I’ve seen this in classes I’ve take with the “girlfriend” dragging her “boyfriend to class. The class will start and there will be all these difficult poses, and the girlfriend will try to fix the “boyfriend”. He will naturally get pissed that she’s being all controlling and then issues from home come up and its basically and emotional land mine.

I once dragged my dad to yoga and I too tried to “fix him”. Granted, I’m always inclined to fix people because thats what I’ve been trained to do as an instructor, but when I’m in a class, I need to just focus on myself. And this mother needed to detach herself from her daughter, and let her daughter explore the practice on her own.

This got me to think a lot about how most of us feel responsible to “fix” others. Β Its only natural when its someone we are so close too. My dad still gives me shit when I meet him in public and I have a small stain on my shirt. Besides the fact that he has a mild cleanliness OCD, I just want him to mind his own shirt and let me make a dirty fool of myself if I so wish. And I see lots of parents with kids that have eating disorders try to “fix” them. Sure, they can feed them, they can make the go to treatment or therapy. But are they free of their eating disorders? Thats up to their kids.

The only people we can really fix is ourselves (cliche but true). And to be honest, sometimes, we should not hurry to go “fix” things. My mentor told me before I began assisting back in July, that I shouldn’t actually adjust very often. A lot of these people are brand new to yoga and it can be intimidating when someone adjusts them. Plus, it can destroy their ego a bit, as if they aren’t doing it right. Then that could lead them to not want to come to class again because “they needed fixing”. So he gave me wise words of advice and told me to only adjust the regulars, the ones who I know have been doing this a few times and can really benefit from the adjustments because they have already explored yoga and how their body reacts to it. And most of the time, they figure out the correct way on their own, and no fixing is necessary. Sometimes, there is a lot of learning involved in leaving things alone.

I kind of bought these lentils on a whim. I usually dont eat lentils at home because I’m so impatient and you usually have to soak them overnight and then rinse…..its just too much to think about. So I bought a can of them (surprised they even sell plain lentils not in soup form in cans). To my surprise, they were decent, maybe even delicious. Perhaps made even more delicious by the fact that I knew I did not slave over them…..And to top that off, made even MORE delicious (can that be possible?) by laying them on a salad made with some of my favorite veggies including:

a yogi approved salad

cabbage

cucumber

spaghetti squash (dont know why, but have really been digging this in salads lately…)

cauliflower

avocado

Look at me, turning into a true yogi, eating a lot of vegetarian sources of protein this week. Dont fret, I still drive my SUV (although its a small one) and eat non organic chicken.

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14 thoughts on “Lentil Salad and “Fixing” Other People

  1. I used to eat lentils more….but now my local grocery store doesn’t carry them anymore. I’ll have to keep my eye out for them again, or just buy the bagged variety. I prefer canned…convenient πŸ™‚
    Avocado goes with everything for sure.

    The “fix it” reflections are interesting. I can’t relate them to yoga (ha), but in life…oftentimes we can completely lose control of our own lives and minds …because someone is trying so hard to fix/control/convince of somemthing..and then we in turn start to do the same thing. That stuff can actually physically burn out your body. I know.

    Ha. I am so so NOT a vegetarian either…I probably should try to make more effort at vegetarian dishes though I think (for variety and cost).

  2. I know what you mean by trying to fix others. Going through all of my nutrition classes, I come home every now and then from school and I try to “teach” all of my knowledge to my parents by “fixing” their not-so-great eating habits. Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing more harm than good. I want to do my best to help them but I don’t want them to get turned off of the idea of eating better because I’m cramming it down their throats.

    And you really don’t have to soak lentils overnight at all. They simply require a 20-40 minute boil-then-simmer depending on the type of lentil and how tender you like them. πŸ™‚

  3. I think this is one of my favorite Eden posts, and it has nothing to do with the food. The urge to “fix” things is not a foreign concept to me, just as it isn’t to most people. That is part of what makes any type of illness-physical or mental-so hard to deal with. If it’s not something we can “fix,” it frustrates us to no end. So many people think eating disorders can be “fixed” with food and don’t understand the cognitive process is the main thing, not the food.

    Anyway, it’s important to remember that a lot of people really don’t want to be “fixed.” Maybe what we see as a fault is actually just something they have to figure out on their own when they’re ready, if they even care to. I like what your mentor said about going gentle on the beginners and focusing a bit more critically on the “regulars,” and I think that’s great advice for all facets of life, no? We can offer help when it’s needed, but have to gauge how appropriate it really is to butt in…gently, of course πŸ˜‰

  4. I never soak my lentils if that helps – they usually only take about 20 mins to cook, of course, opening a can in 20 seconds does trump 20 minutes any day πŸ˜‰ I taught ballet over the years and agree that you shouldn’t just hover trying to fix every single nuance b/c people do tend to figure it out on their own (some are just slower than others) and like you said, it can crush an ego. That goes in life too huh?

  5. Haha…nothing to add here. I agree totally. I’m one of the ones who always tries to “fix” people, but it’s really just better if we focus on fixing ourselves rather than trying to sort out other people.

  6. I’m probably a weirdo but I really love when people adjust me in classes. (yoga, pilates, ballet or otherwise) I always do things wrong so it’s nice to have help. As long as the person adjusting is the class instructor or assistant!

  7. oh i LOVE the sketti squash in salads too! it adds just an awesome twirly crunch factor πŸ™‚ and i usually buy my lentils from tjs haha the presteamed already cooked ones! they’re so easy to just use that way πŸ™‚

  8. I agree with Abby, this is one of my favorite posts. Probably because I relate to it so much. I actually love being adjusted in yoga, but thats only because I want to get better at it. When I was just starting off in yoga, it was very intimidating. If my mom would have come and tried to “Adjust” me, I might have smacked her. I don’t like being fixed by my spouse and family, they should love all of me, including my flaws…..and I have a lot of flaws, haha.

  9. Deep post, Eden. I agree with you. I think it’s in our human nature to always want to “fix” things. When my parents nag at me about certain things…I know deep down they are RIGHT…but the fact that they’re trying to “fix” me so forcefully makes me feel less human and I almost feel the need to do just the opposite just to prove…prove what? That I AM human? Dunno. Of course I’m talking out of the context of yoga here, but I love how your posts make us think in different levels.

    p.s. Where exactly in LA do you live?

  10. They make a lot of lentils in St. Lucia. I thought they were really great; my husband wouldn’t eat them. I have some here at the house, but I have yet to make them. I liked your post about the yoga and fixing people’s poses, I personally think that the only reason anyone should be fixed during any sort of exercise is if they are going to hurt themselves. In my weight lifting class, I often see a lot of people with REALLY bad form…and even though the instructors instruct from the stage, they aren’t allowed to call people out. Bad posture in weight lifting could get someone hurt badly, and I have often seen instructors outside the class speaking with people. I’ve often thought that they needed people to go around during and fix form, though. Does that make sense? It was kind of a rant, LOL πŸ˜‰

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