Confessions of a yoga teacher, Part 1: The real yoga

I love yoga but I don’t love the yoga image, the squeaky clean yogi whose practice of yoga has led to a more highly evolved state of being than your average mortal.

There is a misconception that to be dedicated to yoga, to be a 'yogi', you need to live a perfect, calm and healthy life.

That your flaws are your weaknesses, that you should be all virtue and no vice, and that your practice of yoga is about 'cleaning up your act' and smoothing out all your nasty imperfections.

We are all a varying mix of good and bad, light and dark, right and wrong, happy and sad.

To hold onto the belief that we can be one without the other is not only unwise but it creates struggle and suffering.

In the following articles, I aim to give you information, tips and instruction on the vast and fascinating and wonderful practice of' Yoga.

My hope is to offer supportive guidance and down-to-earth advice on how I believe yoga can help you to be more comfortable in your human skin. I believe that yoga is not about becoming better, or different.

It's about coming home to yourself and feeling good about what you find there.

So to start with, this is my confession.

I am a dedicated yogi and I am very human.

I do practice yoga nearly every morning but I don't bounce out of bed. I struggle with tiredness, stiffness and the deep desire to go back to sleep.

I believe in love and kindness but I shout angry words at my kids sometimes, say hurtful things to my husband, eat meat and kill slugs (and some rodents).

I honour truth and honesty but I have lied and ignored things I don't want to see.

I understand compassion but I judge strangers and I struggle to tolerate my own mistakes and weaknesses.

I practice self-love but I would like my boobs to be bigger, my eyes not to have bags, my tummy to be thinner, my hair to be less hairier, my feet to be smaller....

I enjoy, respect and feel part of the yoga community but I feel envy, irritation and self-criticism when I see a 'fellow yogi' effortlessly mastering a pose that I can't do.

I love wine, I love cake, I love chocolate, I love coffee, I love mad parties, I love staying up late dancing and I have hangovers.

I will always struggle with the ghosts of my past, feel angry, guilty, scared, sad and lonely ... at times.

In all of this, I'm me.

In all of this, I am practising yoga.

For me the essence of yoga is awareness.

Beautiful, clear, harsh, crystal awareness.

I would like to take you with me on my yoga journey. But be clear, this path does not lead you to a perfect fantasy land where there are no problems.

This path takes you right up to the problems and teaches you how to walk calmly beside them without a struggle.

This path teaches you how to be comfortable to just be.

Ready?

Jessica Hatchett teaches yoga in West Cork, for more info on her events and classes go to www.yogawestcork.com

Upcoming events: Sunday yoga workshop on May 19th. Weekend retreat in Dzogchen Beara on 13th,14th &15th Sept 2013.



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