Meaning ‘the spirit of perseverance’, I’ve chosen to start my classes with this instead of the more traditional 'Namaste' as, to me, it’s a reminder that this is a disciplined, lifelong practice. One that we endeavour to persevere with, and to remember that, like life, this practice will have challenging moments, but to stay spirited through those challenges - to learn and apply that mentality on the mat so that it becomes second nature off the mat.
I think this notion of yoga being a discipline has been lost - people these days (subconsciously) treat it as a consumable, often seeing themselves as yoga customers and not yoga students. And understandably so, because studios treat them as such, with yoga as something to buy, rather than practice. But you are not a customer to me - I am not here to service you, I am here to challenge you. Correction, I'm here to invite you to challenge yourself. I want to help you become a better human being, and by sharing space with me you’re agreeing to allow me to help you . If you don’t want to be a better human, if you want to be treated like a customer, then there are countless other yoga teachers and classes out there. But by being in a space and coming to practice with me my intention, my offering, is that we’re agreeing to enter a relationship where you trust me to guide you, and I trust you to be focused, to be motivated, to be present - to be disciplined. I don’t want to waste my time on someone who isn’t invested in themselves.
A lot of yoga teachers are concerned with their students liking them, and do everything they can to please everyone, trying to be everyone's best friend so they'll go to brunch with them after class and go on holiday with them (aka their 'retreat'). I’m not. I don’t care if you don’t like me. In fact, there will probably be moments in our relationship where you don’t, because I’m not here to please you - I'm not here to provide a service like a fitness instructor or PT; I’m interested in helping you grow, and we do this through challenge - discovering our comfort zone, or ‘confine’ zone as I call it, and redefining it. These boxes in which we live are in part self-made - narratives we subconsciously create and live by, without ever questioning them, or sometimes even noticing them. I’m here to, at times, press buttons, strike nerves, and be deliberately provocative to start getting you firstly witnessing your personal story, hopefully understanding it, and perhaps even reevaluating it consciously. That's not to say we can't have a fun and moments of laughter whilst doing it, but I’m ok with being seen as ‘the villain’ at times - that’s my burden when taking on the role of teacher. But even during those times, I promise everything I’m doing is coming from a place of love, even if you can’t see it.
I ask you not to have faith in me, but to believe.