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Disparaging Remarks versus Compliments

Apr 24, 2011


Recently, I had the experience of instructing a large group of yoga students. I realized that we are all seeking something, and I had to watch that my ego was not twisting in the wind from the  comments about the class. I wish to share my knowledge about the body and about yoga while being aware that I am limited in what I know about each subject. I am seeking to be understood. 
Each person who attended the class brought their needs and desires with them. I presume that some came because they had begun to stiffen up and wanted to loosen their tightening bodies, whereas others would have been wanting to calm their nervous system and knew that they needed to address their stress level in some way. Some may have wanted the balanced strength available to them through a vigorous class and others just wanted to be in the beautiful studio in the middle of a field in the woods. 
Thanks to Genevieve for the photo
The learning that I received while people expressed their displeasure or joy was difficult. I swayed towards the compliments and away from those which I felt criticized or blamed me. When I  look at my experience I see clearly that my ego is involved in my interpretation of events. 
By centering myself in the present moment; by knowing that right now I am fine and doing the best I can in the present circumstance, I can see that how I am perceived by others is not the most important thing in the world. I am neither a terrible teacher nor a wonderful one; I am merely a person like everyone else. Perspective.
If we can release our need to be approved of and admired and we can accept criticism as a learning experience without being distracted by an emotional wave, we may find freedom. 

Let go! What do you have to loose but your ego.
Good luck!



Please add a comment

Posted by kimleduc on
This reminds me of a hair conference I went to in calgary last year where we all had to do a lot of public speaking. My industry is full of ego and I struggled to maintain perspective. Ultimately it came down to me telling myself that we are ALL only human, the person that judges another is no better or worse, just different. It sometimes seems I struggle more than others because I don't feel I have a huge ego (lack in confidence), but it might just be the other way around... maybe I struggle less!

Nice of you to share!
Posted by kimleduc on
I enjoyed your article and as always admire your courage and ability to get out there and share, not letting any fears restrict you.

It reminded me of a time many years ago when I was trying to upgrade my fitness by running around Buttertubs Marsh to condition for running. I had , after many months achieved the strength to run it twice around, without injury, which felt like a real achievement. As I was running I passed one woman a few times and she said how wonderful I was to be doing this and how fit, she wished she could be the same, and it made me feel good, gave me a little more energy to keep going. Within minutes I passed a couple of woman who laughed at me and told me that they seemed to be walking around faster than I was running it., now I felt hurt and it seemed to drain my enthusiasm. I kept running and realized as I thought about it that both were the same, different sides of the same coin. It was just the ego responding to both. What I was doing had nothing to do with these people, I was not running for their approval. And yes I felt free.

The tests keep coming on until the ego goes and it sounds like you are doing your work well, good for you Kim.

Posted by kimleduc on

Very interesting thread. I have had this same reflection when not every student in the adult carpentry classes I have taught has been satisfied. As you say, everyone has different needs and expectations and it is not always possible to satisfy everyone. I have learned to let it go of trying to please everyone and focus on any improvements I can make that will satisfy my vision of the class and the majority of students. Kids are so much easier!

Posted by Patti Adye on
Reminders for us all as we strive to share our knowledge and passion while understanding that we are human and knowing in our hearts that we are a perfect expression of the divine.


Patti Adye, M.A., R.Y.T
leadership - training - development
(250) 871-5123

"Humankind has not woven the web of life . We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect" Chief Seattle, 1984
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