I practice yoga with a few different instructors. Each one has their own way about them, like different yoga personalities. By practicing with each of them I feel like I get a really rounded practice.
I do have a favorite though. She's a gentle presence with immense strength. Her voice is soothing and encouraging. It is, in part, because of her that I have found my own strength. She has inspired me. With her I feel like the karate kid with Mr. Miyagi.
As with most good teacher student relationships there comes a point when the student must try out their own wings, apart from the teacher. When the teacher stands aside, out of view of the student and just lets them fly. This is the idea I am embracing since hearing that my favorite yoga instructor is leaving.
A good yoga practice is not about the instructor at all. It is such an individual experience.
This too, I tried to remember as I practiced my downward facing dog (a yoga pose) in class, my yoga mat next to the mat of a beautiful blonde yoga Barbie, the very epitome of yoga with the flexibility of Gumby. The very yoga Barbie that is to be my new instructor.
But seriously, the idea of yoga is not competition or comparisons. It is how I can challenge myself to be more than I was yesterday. It is strength and weakness and the ability to embrace both equally.
Mr. Miyagi is leaving but his inspiration and strength have rooted themselves in my life.