Session 2 with Lauren Prince, a yoga instructor in Glynn County, Georgia, was my first in person session and it was really a lot of fun. I've enjoyed all of my podcast sessions, but one thing I learned during this session was how much I enjoy in person interviews. It just feels more personal and intimate and much more like a casual conversation than you get online. Lauren has taught classes as a freelance instructor and she has also managed a yoga studio full time. She's got an awesome way about her when she teaches that makes everyone in the room, from beginner to seasoned yoga veteran, feel comfortable, welcomed, and glad they came.
It Feels Good To Have a Yoga Instructor (Belonging)
There is something powerful about belonging. To anything. This is not earth shattering news, but worth a reminder. Particularly as it relates to exercise and health, there is a lot of power in finding a group to belong to. If you haven't listened to this episode and heard about how much pleasure I got out of being able to call Lauren, "my yoga instructor", you should. Having a place or group that you belong to helps you stay accountable, helps build relationships outside of your "normal" circle, and gives you some extra pride and ownership in what you are doing. You won't "belong" right away (unless you go to a class taught by Lauren), but you will never belong if you don't start. The same is true for just about any group or association that you might consider joining. It may be intimidating at first, maybe even lonely, especially if you are an introvert. You don't have to speak up, shake hands, or kiss babies. Just keep showing up. Eventually, you'll be a part of the group.
Almost Everything Is a Practice
Lauren talked about her journey of moving from student to instructor, and all that she learned along the way. Exercise, yoga in particular, can feel intimidating for those who are new to the practice, or feel like a beginner compared to others in the room. Yoga is a "practice", meaning that it is not intended to be something that you master. As you get better at a pose, or breathing, or specific movements, there are always new ways to expand and grow. There is always more to learn.
We don't give ourselves enough grace to treat other things in our lives as "a practice". Things take time, and it is unlikely we'll ever become a master of anything (which is good), if we truly have a humble, growth centered approach. In addition to grace, we need to allow ourselves the time necessary to grow into the thing we are working on. There is a great quote, attributed to Bill Gates:
"Most people overestimate what they can do in one year, and underestimate what they can do in ten years."
In other words, we think that we are going to "get it", crush it, learn it, master it, in a short amount of time, and we get frustrated or quit when it doesn't happen at that (unrealistic) pace. And at the same time, we are so nearsighted, that we sell ourselves short on all that we'll be able to do if we'll just stick with it over time.
With a little grace, time, and a "practice" mentality, we can do a lot more than we realize.
My next book, or one of my next books, is going to be titled, Nobody's Right. The idea is that there are so many "right" ways to do things, that we can't listen to one quote, one guru, one success story and assume that they have the right way, just because it worked for them. Some people might use this phrase to describe what I'm talking about: "There's more than one way to skin a cat." To which I would say, "There is no right way to skin a cat. At this phase in our evolution, we should not be skinning cats, and especially not in multiple ways."
You see, nobody's right.
How does this relate to what I learned from Lauren?
When I first started yoga-ing with Lauren, the one thing that stood out to me was how original she was in her instruction, primarily because she didn't take herself too seriously. She was making up names for poses, making up poses altogether, and laughing at herself and making jokes during our sessions. These were all way outside of my expectations for yoga. As she's continued to grow as an instructor, I'm sure there are some things she's "cleaned up" along the way, but I hope she never loses her willingness to think outside of the traditional box, and do yoga her way. I think that's why so many people enjoy her class.
For us, certainly there are things that require specific ways of doing. There are outlines to follow and generally accepted norms. But my encouragement to us, is that we don't get so caught up in "the" way that we lose sight of what we have to offer. There are ways that each of us may speak, act, teach, coach, and lead that may allow us to connect to people in ways that other people cannot. We wont' be able to do those things if we stick to rigidly to the script.
Thanks for listening to Extraordinary Joes! If you have any Extraordinary Joes you think would be great for the show, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.