Avoidance and the seeds of self-doubt

2016-04-10 09.19.09I’ve been doing a lot of avoiding lately. Not so much in my asana practice, but more in terms of thinking, processing, studying, and being alone with my thoughts. So what’s going on here?

My daily commute gives me lots of opportunity to study, think, read, and write. And I have often used that time to work on my homework for yoga teacher training and process some of the learning, mulling things over in my mind. But lately I’ve been spending a lot of time on my phone messing around on social media and generally doing mindless things. And there is a time and a place for that. But I know deep down that I’m doing it because I’m avoiding something. And it’s something to do with yoga.

I’m in the middle of yoga teacher training weekend six. I learnt a lot yesterday about bandhas, mudras, and seated postures, and the 2-hour journey home was the perfect time to process some of that learning in my mind, and update my notes about the asanas we were working on. Or even just to sit and give my overwhelmed brain a break by observing, pondering or people-watching. What did I do instead? I have no idea but I know it involved eating Reese’s peanut butter cups and being on my phone the whole time, determined to keep my mind occupied with anything except what would be useful or nourishing.

I don’t know exactly what this is about, but here are some contenders:

  • Overwhelm – There is too much to learn! How can I possibly assimilate all this in my brain and my own body and then communicate it to others?
  • Fear – What if I’m doing it all wrong? I know my asana practice is ok but what if all the stuff I’m thinking and writing and planning to teach is wrong? What if no-one will understand my coaching points? What if I can’t give my students what they need?
  • Self-doubt – Who am I to believe I can be a yoga teacher? If I struggle to be alone with my thoughts and get on my mat every day how can I possibly teach in an authentic way?
  • Self-sabotage – If I can’t even sit with my own thoughts or be bothered to study or eat healthily then I’m right – I can’t possibly be a worthy yoga teacher. So I may as well just spend my time scrolling through my Twitter feed while eating a chocolate bar.

So that’s where I am right now. And that’s ok. I’ll keep going. This too shall pass.

7 thoughts on “Avoidance and the seeds of self-doubt

  1. Completely agree with the words on the image! I think that asking these questions and having these thoughts are all part of what will make you a GREAT yoga teacher 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe you could utilise the exercise you told me about on the leadership skills course – the worst-case and best-case scenario one? You could change the world with your yoga teaching! 🙂


  3. It all sounds pretty normal to me! Not that I’ve started TT yet… but I’m clearly precocious since I’m having all these thoughts already! 😉 Awareness if the first step towards change right?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks babycrow! I think it’s being half way through the training that has brought this up for me – teaching suddenly feels a bit real, imminent, and daunting!
      But this morning our teacher reminded us “you don’t have to fight or struggle to find something to share with your students, it’s already within you”.

      Liked by 1 person

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