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