Something to remember for yoga class, and for life: You are the wisdom-keeper of your body. You’re the only one who knows what’s happening inside you. If anybody is questioning you or shaming you for your perceptions or experience, get away from them (if at all possible) as fast as you can.
If you’re in yoga class (or dance class, or aerobics, or any movement class where someone else is telling you what to do), and the instructor tells you to do something you’re not down with, don’t do it. I don’t care if they say the thing is “not that hard,” or “good for everybody,” or “just like the practice we did five minutes ago.” They don’t live in your body and they don’t get to make choices for you.
No matter what kind of expert they are, they aren’t the expert on your body.
They don’t have X-ray vision to be able to see inside you.
They don’t have psychic powers to tell them what you’re feeling.
They don’t get to make decisions for you.
You own your body, and everything about it.
People will try to tell you what’s good for you based on the latest scientific studies, or their experience, or on some notion that there are things that are good for everybody.
I believe there are universal truths, but not about human experience, and certainly not about which yoga poses, or breathing practices, or foods, or scheduling habits, or anything else we have free choice about.
Being the wisdom-keeper for our bodies is a lot of responsibility.
It means always being plugged in and aware.
It means remembering and respecting your own history and experiences, no matter what anyone else says.
It means ignoring direct instructions.
It means ignoring pretty much all the advice printed in popular magazines.
Perhaps hardest of all, it means trusting yourself.