QUESTIONS & DIALOGUE about

ANYTHING & EVERYTHING under the sun

THROUGH THE LENS of a modern day yoga teacher/buddhist/wild child

Please email your questions HERE

 

 

21 questions 

 

1. QUESTION: How do I stop hurting from a breakup? He left me, 2 months ago now, and as much as I now understand all the ways in which the way we loved each other wasn't (evolved) enough, I am still miserable. When will it stop hurting? How can I stop missing him by my side? THANK YOU. I imagine you have been through a breakup in the past year, too (just from following your insta life)

RESPONSE: 

Hi, Thank you for taking the time to reach out.  I have been through it (many times) and actually, breakups are my specialty. Until my bigger response, don’t rush it. This feeling is temporary and so you might as well get as much wisdom from it now as you can. Also it sucks ASS, I am sure. And that doesnt make it better, but it gives it reason to be happening. More soon.

Hi  - returning to you. My most painful heart breaking break up, was not this year, though I did break up at the end of last year, and yes there were many tears and it was really hurtful and hard to let go. The break up I can really speak from happened years ago. We were together for 6 years and my whole identity was really caught up with his and I just had to let go of mainly a lot about myself - which took time for me to realize. I had a ton of illusions about him and myself, and those were more what hurt than actually recognizing that I wasn’t happy with him either. realizing that helped a lot. I think you have to shift through ideas of your identity with theirs and see if you too are holding onto things that aren’t really about them, but more about you. 

I also realized - and maybe this will help you - that I didn’t have to stop loving him just because we were broken up. That helped a lot. I kept trying to not love him, not like him, not remember the good things to try to forget him, then I realized that was sucking up so much energy, and really, I loved him a lot, and respected him and adored him even, but also knew that I wanted something else in the relationship. 

Pema Chodrons book “when things fall apart” helped me too. 

Dating someone the complete opposite of him helped. For a little while that is. 

Time helped. 

Crying. iced coffee with a straw I could chew on to calm my anxiety. yoga. meditation ….SINGING!! CHANTING!!! STUDYING THE YOGA SUTRAS - all of these things helped. 

Sometimes I drank a whole bottle of wine with my girlfriends and stalked him on FB and cried and sometimes I went out and couldn’t care less about him and felt so relieved not to be with him having the whole world at my feet. 

Eventually, it got less and less. For a few years after we broke up we kept sleeping together once a year. That fucked me up every time. Felt great, then shitty. Then one time we had the worst sex ever, and we were wasted, and I realized I was over it. 

He will always have a place in my heart, but he doesn’t have my heart. I still love him. In fact I just ran into him and his wife and their new baby and their dog on fathers day on the beach in malibu the other day. It was a phenomenal and healing moment because I LOVED HER, and was genuinely happy for him and just felt so far away from it all, without not having a tenderness for him that I think will be there forever. He was my first love. But not my LAST. don’t forget that. 

Trust where you are. It only gets better. I have loved since and even though I am not with anyone now, I really truly believe in love still. And I am wiser now for all that shitty pain I went through. And a better teacher and human. I have more empathy for heartache and that heart wrenching vulnerability that life makes us feel. 

(Listen to Recording at 00:00)

 

2. QUESTION: What is your yogic perspective on people pleasing, codependency, placing others before ourselves yet continuing to be compassionate to ourselves and others. Where do we draw the line? How? Thank you!

RESPONSE: 

I am not the best at pleasing people. I think a lot of yoga teachers and practitioners try to please people to keep people coming to class for the wrong reasons (which takes away from the actual teaching part) and because we start to think that because we are practicing yoga we have to be nice and kind to everyone. I mean, ultimately thats nice and all to be kind all the time, but sometimes the highest form of kindness doesn’t always appear as our typical definition of kindness on the outside. Sometimes, the best thing we can do, for example to someone abusing us, is to remove ourselves from them completely, not only to take care of ourselves, but to protect them from having the chance to harm someone. In general, I think spiritual people need to discard this BS of being happy and kind all the time and start talking real talk and being more straight forward about what is okay and what isn’t. We all makes mistakes and mess up, and life is dirty, and we need more spiritual people being honest about that. I have seen time and time again people giving away their power to spiritual teachers and losing their sense of self in the mix.This is VERY unhealthy and I do believe we are starting to eradicate it. I hope we do, without also losing our sense of humility towards our teachers and elders. You see there is a very fine line here. The best thing for someone else is not always the obvious thing. And we should watch out - are we overly taking care of ourselves with spirituality or are we ignoring our own needs to take care of others. Look - we will always be a little imbalanced and we may oscillate from one end of the spectrum to the other - and thats totally fine. just keep checking in. and asking friends. i think close friends have good perceptions of where we are f-ing up. 

(Listen to recording at 10:37)

 

3. QUESTION: What is the yogic perspective on slang ghosting and drugs

and am I an old soul? Because I feel old “af"...

RESPONSE: 

Haha. I love slang and I think its fun and can be annoying, but for the most part, I love the evolution of language. I think someone who can oscillate between slang and proper english has it going on for sure. 

Ghosting is mean and immature and pathetic. Unless someone is really really insanely texting you, you must respond. When someone doesn’t respond it hurts. And ghosting usually means that a person has made efforts to connect and build the beginning of something, consistently in communication, and then out of the blue falls away and completely ignores the person. That is super pathetic in my eyes. People need to become better communicators in the technological world we are in, not worse. And grow some fucking balls and tell someone you aren’t interested or whatever the truth is - tell them straight, I have always respected the guys that were clear with me instead of stringing me along or ghosting me. You don’t hate them and you can sometimes wind up friends or at least friendly. There aren’t hard feelings when people are honest. 

Hmmm drugs. I am not that into drugs - but I have dabbled and tried them and sometimes they can be just what the doctor ordered - under the right circumstances. I am usually one of major moderation and I don’t have an addictive personality, so I usually just dabble on a night where there is good music and I can dance for as long as I want. Everything in moderation. Drugs can be really healing. But you have to be super careful about dependency. I always spend a few weeks in the spring and fall not drinking or smoking weed or anything else. 

Are you an old soul? Haha I dont know but I do think an old soul feels very young even when hey may appear old in the body. An old soul is someone who can be playful about most things in life, in my humble opinion. 

(Listen to recording at 15:45)

 

4. QUESTION: I love that you are taking questions and am not sure if this is another tactic of procrastination 2. I admire what you do and 3. Questions: how do I know if I'm living my dharma as a teacher? And how can I make this a sustainable career? I have been teaching for 5+ years and am so tired of making so little for public classes but I am not sure how else to attract students?

RESPONSE: 

Amazing questions!!! And goodness, do I know and feel you. Just acknowledging that I have read this and sending longer response shortly. I really want to discuss this though because I feel strongly that the yoga community is really not taking care of its people - its a very immature industry and we can do better!!

I found that people really started to perk up in my class when I stopped trying to teach like someone else or sound spiritual or smart or pretty or calm. The more honest I was about my true challenges with the practice or life or being human, the less I tried to be perfect, the more people listened felt safe and came back to class. So that is my main advice on “attracting students”. Ask yourself how much are you sharing of your real heart and truth? Of your real self? 

And I don’t think yoga is a career for most people. Its really hard to make money in a way where you can save and feel like you are getting somewhere. I taught for 14 years in nyc and charged people a lot of money for my time and made more than many of the other teachers and still, Im renting and work my ass off. So I recommend exploring other means of income, being very creative with that and continuing to teach until teaching offers you so much $$$ you naturally walk away from the other ventures. 

(Listen to recording at 24:24)

 

5. QUESTION: Meditation! I have this tumultuous relationship with it. Do you sit?  Everyday? What have you found works best for you?  I feel the pull but haven’t found the time of day? Method? Something else? That works best for me.

RESPONSE:

This struggle maybe never ends. In my moments of practicing the most, I was really sad or heartbroken or anxious and that pushes me onto the cushion. Raising your intention for it can help - like if you really believe you can become a Buddha through meditation and help everyone who is suffering - then you will sit. I know thats a long shot. Short answer is every one feels exactly that and often its hard times that get us to the cushion. Longer answer is you just have to do it.

Every day. Same time. Same meditation. Discipline yourself as an experiment. 20 minutes daily. You wont know why its good until you do it. Only experience can convince you.

I have some led meditations free on my soundcloud and I also like Kelly Howell awakening kundalini on itunes. She is kinda weird, and I tune her out, but it helps me sit when I dont want to.

(Listen to recording at 31:44)

 

6. QUESTION: I find I'm often overwhelmed by the breadth of the wellness industry/how to reconcile religious beliefs (im Christian and I don't consider myself to be super religious at all) with spirituality/ belief in the universe as well as crystals, cards, all that stuff. Do you have any advice? I know this is something I have to figure out on my own but looking for guidance :)

RESPONSE:

Hi!! Thank you so much for responding and reaching out. Firstly, yoga is not a religion and should embrace all religious backgrounds and beliefs. All this BS of yoga having to be about tarot and sage and crystals in humans just mixing it all together and making a big mess to sell products and also to feel like they are doing “the right” thing if they buy this stuff Its not that yoga cant also embrace those things too, its just that yoga isn’t even necessarily down dog. Yoga is the underlying unifying force or space within it all. Its really such a shame what confusion we have about yoga sometimes. Hopefully the confusion though pushes us back into our own hearts so we can get stronger and clearer about our own truth, and stand more confidently in that. I love that yoga makes us question everything, even yoga itself. So keep seeking and asking and if you think you have the answer question that too. Its my experience some flavor or sense of truth is in those spaces of not knowing actually.  Hope this helps!! And to have you on retreat one day soon.

(Listen to recording at 37:10)

 

7. QUESTION: Thank you so much for this!! I've found myself cynical about how wellness has become this commodity and appreciate your view that its not fair to throw yoga in that mix of it all. I specifically remember a snap story of either yours or yoga for bad people but it was a bunch of people "exercising" with super foods; which I thought was F'ing hilarious and just the right added dose of sarcasm in the face of how self-serious this wellness movement can be. Thanks for doing all that you do. Would you advise against or for creating a yoga studio in an area with two other studios nearby? What are the cons in the wellness industry?

RESPONSE:

Hi!! Great question!! And thank you for taking the time. My main response is that it seems way better to work as a teacher in your own space than for someone else, but you will be taking on a risk - but you are either way. If the students need something a bit different - build it - they will come! But I mean it. If its for making money, I wouldnt hold your breath, in my experience most studios end up breaking even but they are doorways to bigger things. I think do it! Cons of the wellness industry ... haha I need a novel for that!! Just be yourself, speak your truth, dont pay attention to what others are doing, do it how you would want it for your practice and life, be humble in the process and ignore the industry noise. Its very immature in the stage it is in, so stay innovative.

(Listen to recording at 43:08)

 

8. QUESTION: Graduating university in May....at a huge crossroad being American in Canada. Do I stay? Do I move to Germany? Move in with my boyfriend? How can I calm my mind and stop worrying about things seven months away...

RESPONSE:

Well I cant exactly tell you what to do, but I always loved the advice - when you are confused dont make a decision yet.  That said, you have to ask yourself what worries you about each decision and also try listening to what your body does when you ponder on each scenario. Remember no matter what decision you make you can always change your mind and what you are supposed to experience in this life - you will. No matter where you are. But go ahead and face your fears mentally, and then laugh When you realize you have no clue what you will feel in 7 months - so whatever you decide now could change and thats the nature of things and thats that! You may fall in love with someone else or get a killer job you cant turn down which will determine where you go or nothing may happen that interesting and you just keep going Keep me posted!! Good luck!! Worrying is normal, try to temper it with the humor of it all - based on your question I know you know what I mean. 

(Listen to recording at 48:55)

 

9. QUESTIONHow did you start yoga for bad people, it's seriously my dream job to be doing something I love and traveling to beautiful places?

RESPONSE: 

Wow big question!!! We basically just started off with one retreat. That retreat led to another and to another and another ... and we called our first trip YFBP, because we did it in brazil and we wanted everyone to know that we wouldnt be serious yoga all the time. We realized we could do a ton of yoga and have fun at the same time (similar to how we were doing our normal lives) and people had a lot of fun - so we kept it up!! But Katelin and I also taught in NyC for many years as well, so That helps. You can make it happen!! I think don’t try to do what others are doing - focus more on what YOU would like/want and then offer that to your students. It could be retreats, but with YOUR flavor. And thats what will make it a success.

(Listen to recording 53:08)

 

10. QUESTION: What are your go to meals and what is the Buddhist perspective on Global Warming?

RESPONSE:

My go to meals are coffee (haha), my blueberry banana coconut milk (or hemp milk) pineapple spirulina powder bee pollen smoothie at home. Im also good at making really good salads and chia pudding. I love sesame crackers from this asian company with almond butter on top. I need to chew things. Other than that, I eat out all the time. Im a new yorker at heart, and never really spent too much time in the kitchen. 

Buddhist View on Global Warming! Hilarious that I added that in there. Well, from what I know and understand of Buddhism, everything we perceive is the result of seeds we have planted in our minds in the past. Keep in mind Buddhists believe in reincarnation, so many of these seeds from past actions are from thousands of lifetimes ago. The perception of GW - whether we like it - aka warm winters in nyc - or hate it - hurricanes and tsumanis - or deny it - comes from our own past actions of either taking care of someone or not, making the world a safer more beautiful place or not.

If GW is a fact and destroying our planet - if this is what we perceive - this perception would be based on our own seeds in the mind - its hard to actually call anything a fact in Buddhism. Its not about blaming others (though you should still do what you can to protect the planet, get information out there, and write congress etc) its about looking at our own minds perceptions and feelings and anything you dont like you would go the extra mile to do the opposite of it, to clear that perception from your mind through your present actions. Therefore, if GW is an issue for you, then you would go the extra mile to care for others and other peoples things and needs more. In a sense, recycling or not using plastic are important from a buddhist perspective, but not the ultimate cause of why we are perceiving GW on our planet. And our perceptions change minutely moment to moment, because they are related to different seeds sprouting into different perceptions of the world we live in. Are we safe? Protected? Surrounded by greedy assholes who deny GW because they make money off their denial? Well how can WE care for others things more? How can WE be less greedy ourselves. Don’t confuse this as it is your own fault that GW is happening, because the perception, if we look at it, is that it is a collective responsibility. SO we are dealing with THE PERCEPTION, not the overall outer thing. We work on changing the world we see by taking actions counter to the ones we have done in the past that have planted seeds in our mind to see what we are seeing in the present. 

This is karma and the relationship between cause and effect. It is a very complex yet simple scenario and topic that takes years of study, but essentially, a Buddhist is taking personal responsibility for their personal and individual perceptions moment by moment. It’s a really different way of looking at things. Our collective actions of not taking care of things well, of denying the results of certain actions we deep down knew were going to lead in one direction, and not respecting things of others seem to be the initial actions that planted seeds in our mainstreams for us to see GW as many of us do. I know that is what I perceive. So we work backwards - how can I respect the things of others more, how can I avoid denying to myself what I know will be the result of my actions (this seed is what causes us to see others deny GW as real) and how can I take care of the things I have now better??? This is how one would “uproot” GW from a Buddhist perspective - based on the very limited studies I have done in the past. Lord, I hope I don’t get bit in the ass after answering this question. 

(Listen to recording at 57:58)

 

11. QUESTION: I am a young woman 24 and I came from a childhood of lack, limitation, and trauma. I am currently launching two companies and pinching pennies to make sure my basic needs are met. I find myself giving myself permission over the past 3-4 years to feel. I at times can feel very lethargic and a deep sense of heaviness. I had a thought that came into awareness, how would I react, what would I choose, who would I be if I came from unconditional love, safety, and abundance? and I notice several of my choices and such would be different. I struggle with the struggle to let go of my story yet, I tend to be radically honest and want empower others through my online art gallery exhibiting the full human experience and a conscious media brand devoted to making content accessible and approachable to all communities around the world as I find it has nothing do to with the circumstance yet, your personal belief/operating systems in place. What is your perspective of being radically honest about one's journey vs. creating from only ease and safety?

RESPONSE:

Thank you for your question and for sharing your personal story. I would say that skillful means is something we can work on for a lifetime. I am usually an open book - and I think sharing ones truth is VERY important. However, I have over shared in the past and I have under shared in the past. Listening to others and really taking in WHO you are communicating with is one important aspect to knowing what and how to share your own truth. Learning to speak the language of the person you are communicating with  - I don’t mean spanish or english, I mean the inner language of the person - so they can actually hear you is key. Some people are ready for the deep honest straight out truth and some need a little sugar coating or politeness to hear you. And trial and error is going to build your muscle with this. I also think, as a teacher or leader - you never want to make it too much about YOU. Make sure whatever you are sharing is something that you are being honest about, but you aren’t using the other person as your own therapy session - there is a reason that benefits THEM that you are sharing something about YOU. Something personal. And what universal can you draw from your personal experience? That is key as well. That makes your experience something everyone can relate to, and it becomes beneficial to all that you shared it. All in all, transparency takes courage, skill and is the most important thing. We are craving realness as human beings - so do the work to figure out how best to share yours. Hope this helps. 

(Listen to recording at 00:00)

 

12. QUESTIONHi Heather- love your philosophy and attitude toward yoga practice/living fully. I'm curious about your thoughts on a couple of things. Dairy/gluten- do these work for you/are you vegan?

RESPONSE:

Personally, I love gluten. haha. I probably mean I love bread, and I love butter. So, I am not gluten free or vegan. But I have been. I was vegan for 6 years and it taught me so so much. I was a self righteous vegan, then a struggling vegan, then a most of the time vegan, then not vegan. I learned so much by reading books about the meat and dairy industry and watching all the PETA movies. Honestly, I am ethically opposed to my own diet. I am. I think if you really want to be free of pain and suffering forever and become enlightened - which I know feels like a long shot but I do believe is completely possible and accessible - to those who are willing to really go for it. I think some of my teachers are really going for it, and they hold the bar high, and I love them for it. I decided a long time ago that I didn’t want to be enlightened in this life, at least not yet, or when I was being honest, I wasn’t really ready to go for it completely. And I was tired and young when I was vegan, and one day, when my BF at the time was way way way ahead of me on a run, I went home and made eggs. I think an ideal diet would be vegan, next to that vegan with eggs of chickens you care for in your own home/garden/farm. Next to that avoiding processed foods, eating very very little meat /fish and making sure you know where it is sourced. And I don’t think anyone really NEEDS dairy, personally, that could be the first to go. I also think if you aren’t gonna eat meat, you may as well just be vegan and forget dairy all together. I don’t particularly think anyone needs cheese or cows milk. But in the end, I am not going to tell anyone what or how to eat. I think we need to spend more time just shedding truth on where things come from, what are the animals conditions and situation with the sea animals, and all of the environmental results of that. Not to mention the result of what that does to our own bodies and psychology. I also think its very important not to judge others. 

(Listen to recording at 13:43)

 

13. QUESTION: How can I begin a meditation practice and make it feel meaningful?

RESPONSE: 

You have to find a teacher who speaks your heart language to guide you, you have to have the right amount of suffering to motivate you to do it consistently, and it will be meaningful once you have experienced a committed practice for a good amount of time. You only know what it can give you from actually doing it, no one else can explain really what its like. So you have to do it. And the way you treat the space you meditate in - make it sacred, even if its the bathroom. Treat it like a space that can give you insights and in time, it will. 

(Listen to recording at 20:25)

 

14. QUESTION: Do you think it's possible for everyone to attain something like the splits over years of practice or are some bodies just not designed to move in certain ways?

RESPONSE: 

I don’t think everyone will be able to do the splits no matter how hard they try. But people who don’t think they can who put their mind to it, yes maybe. And it depends on your genetics, your motivation, your commitment, your past physical history, but ultimately, even if you can do the splits, you won’t be happy. Splits cannot make anyone happy, and in fact they may just make you more bummed because once you accomplish that, whats next? and what after that? its only reiterating a false sense of accomplishment and silliness that the yoga world needs to address very soon - contortionism is NOT YOGA. harmony is yoga. harmony with everything. I am not sure the splits can bring that level of harmony, but maybe I am wrong. 

(Listen to recording at 26:26)

 

15. QUESTION: Any yogic advice for dating in NYC??

RESPONSE:

Hang out with lonely people. Make them feel loved and less lonely and dedicate it to the amazing person who is coming into your life. Listen to your gut with someone, if you feel something weird, don’t talk yourself out of it. Listen. Get on dating apps but don’t go on a zillion dates - wait to really like someone on those apps, then go. But message a bunch and give them a chance.

(Listen to recording at 29:30)

 

16. QUESTION: Is sleeping on the floor is good for health? Alternatively, is sleeping on a (soft) mattress bad for it?

RESPONSE: 

Probably sleeping on the floor is good. But I like soft. I like the mattress to mold with the natural curves of my spine. From a yogic standpoint, hmmm.... good sleep comes from helping others sleep at night, doing things that promote rest in people rather than doing things that disrupt people or make them sleepless. And acting with this intention is what will help your sleep. Mattress is irrelevant in this equation. You will like your mattress if you have helped people rest and you will hate it if you have done the opposite.

(Listen to recording at 32:55)

 

17. QUESTION: This is so amazing thank you for doing this!! Something I’m struggling with right now would definitely fall into the comparison category. I work for myself and have just this year come to accept that I don’t think I’ll ever be one of those “I never sleep because I’m always working because that’s what you do when you run your own business” people. 50% of the time I pride myself on prioritizing work-life balance, my mental health (yoga every AM). 
And that I need lots of self care in order to do my best work. But the other 50% of the time I’m reading interviews with women I admire running businesses I aspire to and think I could be doing so much more if only I have more of myself. My anxiety spikes and I have restless energy I don’t know what to do with and end up paralyzed in my own comparison and fear. I can’t seem to shake that feeling even though I mostly do a good job of staying optimistic and trying to be proud of the work I do.

RESPONSE:

Well, it sounds like you have your head screwed on the right way. The comparison issue is a big one, and to be honest, I don’t really have a solution besides supporting the people we admire and we are jealous of - which I think you already sound like you do. I often find I think someone has a better life than me and in reality, they are just as insecure as I am, and sometimes even more insecure. And I find this out after supporting them and finding something to compliment them on and turning around my initial competitiveness or comparison issues. And then when people open up, you realize they are not perfect. If you are also super revealing about your own insecurities or worries it can welcome someone into the space of sharing their own. And then you aren’t up against each other. 

It sounds though like you are an over achiever and hard on yourself. I can relate to that. You should try making a list of the 5 great things you have done every day before you go to sleep for 30 days. Review the good things - the amazing things about yourself. Don’t review what you aren’t doing enough of. Try that little exercise and let me know what happens. You have to take some time to reflect on what you are ALREADY doing before you try to take on more. 

Comparison sucks. All of us ladies suffer from it. It hurts and its so unnecessary. Share your fears, insecurities, make other women feel amazing as they are, and review what you are already doing really well every night before you go to bed. I am really looking forward to hearing how that last one goes.

(Listen to recording at 35:33)

 

18. QUESTION: Only question comes to my mind is, "What would motivate a yogi to put herself out there in this fashion?" Second question would be, "Do yogis see this moment, this seemingly critical stage of the Kali-yuga, as anywhere close to the peak of what we will see?"A third question would then be, "Is the polarity between apparent opposites increasing as we pass through what we call time? and if so, is that the expansion of the Universe at work?"The fourth would have to then be, "How would you, as a yogi, describe the Being-ness that exists eternally, beyond time?"

RESPONSE:

1. I did this because I am honestly curious about who “follows” me what they are thinking about do I have anything to say about it and what I am learning is that yes I do and people who “follow” me are amazing and sharing such heartfelt honest questions and I am just so grateful to have this dialogue

2. I dont really know enough about the kaliyuga except its supposed to be this war torn disaster of a place. In some ways the world is very F-ed up, in others ways its better than ever. I cant remember my past lives so have little to compare it to, and and I havent been everywhere yet, so I just think the more I try to be loving and kind and true to myself thats all I can do. I dont want to put energy into armageddon and yet I am willing and ready to “fight” the food fight.

3. Amazing question. I have no idea. I do think we have to think outside the box of time ... but my question back is .. can the thinking linear mind think outside the box of time?

4. Emptiness. Fullness. Silent. Loud. Not alive. Not dead. Incredibly beautiful. No words to describe. Tons of fun though, like the best party ever, but no one to claim it.

(Listen to recording at 43:24)

 

19. QUESTION: Hi Heather.  I used to take your classes years ago at pure yoga and have followed you on social media for a while.  I stay home with my 3 year old son but recently became certified to teach bar Method classes and am teaching about 9 classes a week now.  I’m so tired.  What do you do to keep your energy up?  What do you eat? Do you take supplements?  I am so happy to be doing what I’m doing but am struggling to keep up my stamina.  Thanks in advance.

RESPONSE:

There are many reasons you may be feeling tired. I think one of the things I would suggest is to play around with how much water are you drinking and how much sleep are you getting. As a relatively new mother, I am sure you are already tired. And if you live in NYC, you are inevitably tired. But I do take chlorella mana when I travel, and calms forte to sleep if I am having trouble sleeping. I will cut back on overeating if I am super tired too, so I won’t eat between 8pm and 8am to give my body a good amount of time to digest and rest. Watch HOW you are teaching too. I had to learn that - often we put our ALL into every class and then this becomes our habit. There are ways to teach with the same amount of love and care without wearing yourself down. Little things like - well, am I breathing, or … are my feet planted on the ground, or leaning into our back bodies or speaking from the belly that can help us teach with the same amount of emphasis and energy but without exhausting ourselves. 

And in the end, you may find that you are teaching too many classes. Maybe one class a day is better. At least until your son is older. Hope this helps!

(Listen to recording at 47:04)

 

20. QUESTION: hi heather! thanks for doing this. its really cool to see from a social media standpoint. happy to know its not just about legging sponsorships and beach yoga pics! my question is more so for some advice and words of encouragement on my journey as a yoga teacher... ive followed yogaforbadpeople for awhile and i am so thankful for you guys bc im dealing with the ever familiar, "can i be an (effective) yoga teacher and still live my lifestyle in the western world? one that indulges from time to time and one that seeks pleasure for pleasures sake but still has a deep practice and understanding of what it brings to me and my students, and believes so strongly in the importance of passsing along the mind/body/spirit connection?"

RESPONSE: 

Thank you so much for taking the time and for your kind words and interest in YFBP. We aren’t hiring right now but will keep you in mind.

I think you cannot be an effective teacher UNLESS you have some knowledge of living in the western world. 

We can only learn from people we can somewhat relate to. So I think our job as yoga teachers is to unite the so called separate worlds of spirit and material. I think we are the ones who should find all the sameness’ and ways they can intermingle and thats what we are sharing with our students. 

So you absolutely need to know the struggles of having a mortgage or a bank account or taxes or shopping or dating or waiting in line for brunch or your cell phone malfunctioning or whatever it is! Absolutely! Its all fuel for the path. 

Just keep going, one step at a time. You may mess up but that is so helpful in the end. Thats how you get good, real good. So one foot in front of the other. I don’t know what you want to spread all over the world, but start with one place at a time. Showing up honest, humble, real and doing your best. Thats all you need to do. 

Excited to have you with us on the path!

(Listen to recording at 47:05)

 

21. QUESTION: How did I get the confidence to build my business? Who am I to teach? How did you know this is the right path for you? Am I meant for more than a 9-5?


RESPONSE:

1. It took a really long time and I was super insecure about it from the beginning and I am still am a lot of the time. I have made so many mistakes and that is weirdly what i think has allowed me to relax and just know I am doing my best and it doesn’t have to be perfect and I might fail again a thousand times but hey, thats okay. Cause I did before and then everything got better then worse then better, and frankly thats just how the whole thing goes down. For everyone. And I didn’t start thinking it was a business, it also happened a bit naturally. It got hard when I starting turning it into a business, if that makes any sense. It changed the vibe and my personal attachments to outcomes about the business. So its time and just showing up and being willing to make mistakes. And helping other people feel confident in what they are doing and going after. Karmically, that will help your own confidence. 

2. I felt this way for a very long time. And honestly it was a good thing because it made me study really hard and wake up early and stay up late and go to as many teachings as I could and seek out teachers and it made me a really good student. And all of those years of feeling insecure and studying to compensate for it, my lack of knowledge that is, led to actually having quite a bit of experience and study and effort behind me that later has made things a lot easier. And given me a really solid foundation to stand on. And be able to relate to new teachers who feel like shit about their ability to teach. Also, who are any of us to be teaching yoga - honestly we aren’t buddhas? we aren’t saints? we aren’t enlightened …. we shop at zara and obsess about lame shit and we are human!!! so its just a funny that we are teachers to begin with. no one should be teaching. and yet, its good we are. it evolves us and our community and people get a lot of relief from it. and maybe we couldn’t even learn anything from a saint because how could we relate to them and how could they relate to us. you have to learn something from someone who is relatable. 

3. I didn’t. I mean I loved yoga immensely when I found jivamukti yoga. but I wanted to be a nyc fashion girl, not a yoga teacher. i just sort of fell into it naturally, and yoga was not an industry or a trend back then, so I was a weirdo for liking it and people thought i was in cult.haha. anyways, I don’t know if I would change anything about my life if I could, but sometimes I dream about being a lawyer or a singer or I wish I would have stuck with acting and become a famous so and so … I mean, Im still dreaming about all of that. I think I have been embraced by yoga and swallowed and beat up, and I still just keep waking up and feeling like its worth it, even though I am not rich and I work really really hard, and its always scary, still, I more and more recognize that in the end of the day, I don’t care about the lack of money or security cause I just love it. I just go somewhere else when I teach. And stuff comes out of me I didn’t know was in there. 

4. Well, a yoga teacher works 7 days a week, 365 days a year. and if you own your own business its the same. you can do a lot of good in any industry just by being a certain kind of human being. grass is always greener. keep listening to the signs. do it all. 9-5 and yoga and then see what tugs at you more.

(Listen to recording at 51:04)