New Age Judge Judy and Lessons in Yoga Class

So I’m in yoga class. I’ve had a good day. Now my prana is pumping, my heart is happy. But … I’m getting increasingly, irritatingly agitated.

It’s the teacher — a lovely human with the best of intentions. But Yoga Teacher is driving me nuts. Yoga Teacher never shuts up. Yoga Teacher has that particular kind of style where every single micro gesture of the posture is explained — intensely, with complete and utter precision … ceaselessly. I’m sure that style works for some, but it makes my Downward Facing Dog very growl-ish. Grrrrr.

So I’m thinking, “Honey, puhleeeease shut up. I’m trying to be peaceful and divine over here.” The irony.

And then New Age Judge Judy shows up in my head and says:

Danielle, this is your lesson. Peace in chaos, love in irritation. Come on, find your flow and let it go. This is the lesson tonight … be … better.

New Age Judge Judy would have me believe that I’m a spiritual dork for being irritated, and that I need to “work on myself.” But you see what’s really happening? I’m judging myself for how I feel. Before I even give myself a chance to learn anything at all, I’ve invalidated what’s really happening for me.

On the self-help track, there’s a tendency to punish ourselves for so-called “negative feelings” and then go about “fixing” those feelings. It’s a pretty screwed up path to compassion.

Back to that class…. I finish. I’m relieved. I can laugh it off. I drive home — prana is pumping, my heart is happy. I didn’t catch Yoga Teacher’s name and inadvertently, I end up in that same Yoga Teacher’s class the following week.

And New Age Judge Judy has a field day in my head:

See! You didn’t get the lesson the last time. If you can be at peace when Yoga Teacher is on your nerves, then you’re truly spiritual. Ascend!

And then I had a revelation between Warrior One and Triangle Pose:

Suck it, New Age Judge Judy. You know what the lesson is for me? To honour what feels right and what feels wrong. To select my teachers in life so I can deepen my devotion. Self discernment is self love.

When you consciously choose your teachers, you expand your own power.

And with that revelation, I smiled to myself in Reverse Swan Dive. I deepened my bends. I blessed Yoga Teacher’s diligence and radiance. I drove home — prana pumping, heart happy.

And I never went back again.


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