Bored off my asana
By Susan Snyder
A couple months have passed since I decided to take a break from teaching yoga. And you know what? I feel good. In fact, I feel better than I did when I was spending all my time managing a yoga studio, surrounded by herbal tea and organic cleaning solvents. I feel better than I did saying the “N” word forty-five times a day (you know which word I mean, people), my head bowed to my heart in a gesture of implied humility and gratitude. I feel much better than I did spouting off rote spiels aimed at getting my students to truly grasp that successfully doing a headstand in the center of the room is some sort of spiritual currency.
I had some issues about being a yoga teacher. I could ramble on about the state of yoga in the West, and how we have bastardized the blah, blah, blah ad nauseum. But I quit teaching because teaching yoga is boring. Now, I don’t mean to say I didn’t value the time the students and I spent together. They are some wonderful people, seriously. I just mean that being a yoga teacher is boring.
My conversations were boring.
Yoga teachers have become a stereotype. When you tell someone that teaching yoga is what you do for a living, you immediately get the up-and-down eyeball. It’s an obligatory test to see if you fit the person’s idea of what a yoga teacher is supposed to look like. Sometimes, if you are speaking with a rather blunt individual (usually male), you get to hear the always popular “You must be pretty flexible.” Ya buddy, I have never heard that one before. I’ll make sure to pass along a big chest bump to my boyfriend for you. The banality of these encounters becomes quite tedious. It may be easier to tell people you are a professional snail sex voyeur. Less judgement.
My social life was boring.
There is the snooze-fest of conformity among the yoga teacher community. We all eat at the same places, wear the same yoga pants, use the same brand of yoga mat, buy groceries from the same co-op. All of our Facebook statuses mention Kombucha at some point, and we repost any famous quote meme regardless of the veracity. I don’t think Martin Luther King could have had an opinion about the internet, folks. We all watch Food Inc. and What the Bleep Do We Know with a smug sense of superiority, because, dammit, we already knew all that.
My studio repartee was boring.
You run out of spiels. This is when the boredom not only glazes your own eyes over, but hits the students right in their third eyes as well. Now, I appreciate a good line, a witty anecdote, a snippet of whimsy in a yoga class, but when the teacher says the same damn thing every week, I start to feel my mula get all bhanded up. I am extremely guilty of commiting this offense. I swear I have seen students mouth along with me karaoke style. Another ominous cloud of danger lies in repeating what you heard from another teacher. Then the budding young yoga teacher that happened to take your class that day repeats it from you. It becomes a vicious game of operator where little nuances are added, but not enough to make it any less of a bad Faberge Shampoo commercial. And so on, and so on…
My sex life was…wait a tick. Nevermind, my sex life is amazing. I mean, let’s face it, I am pretty flexible.
So now that I am out of the yoga biz, I feel less bored. I feel like I can actually explore my own practice without having to create Led Zeppelin playlists and coordinate my Lulu pants with my toenail color. I no longer have to think up witty banter that convinces people to touch their toes to the back of their heads. When a herd of free-roaming yoga teachers pass by, I just smile and wave and turn the corner.
About Susan Snyder
Susan is a science lover who works in a molecular biology lab and dives with great white sharks. She has over 700 hours of yoga teacher training under her belt but decided to get a “real job with benefits” just to be ironic. Her love of zombies has led her to explore some pretty deep aspects of life and death. She has been studying Vedic Astrology for several years now just so she can hold her weight at spiritual gatherings. A heavy metal fan, she could never come up with a realistic marriage of Slayer and yoga, no matter how hard she tried. People were just dropping like flies.