by Jenniferlyn (JL) Chiemingo
“Yoga Sutra 11.36: Dedicated to truth and integrity (Satya), our thoughts words and actions gain the power to manifest.” – Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi
I came to yoga for the physical, but somehow the truth of the practice, the raw honesty it required, snuck up on me. I’ve been a teacher for over twelve years and so many times I watch students come for the body sculpting and walk away when the yoga started to penetrate them—when the yoga started to ask more of them than physical postures.
I would often watch students who were wavering in their practice, knowing they would either choose ‘the path’ or walk away. Once you begin this path of awakening, if you stay, you absolutely have to do the work.
Almost all the classes I teach are wrapped around a theme. So many times, my themes were about truth, about authenticity, about being who you really are and living freely and honestly.
I said all this, I knew all this, and still there was this one lie, a big lie that I hid about myself, about my past. I hid it from my students. I hid it from my yoga colleagues. I hid it from my best friends, from my family members. Only my husband knew and I only told him once.
I was afraid of what others would think of me if they knew the truth. I didn’t want anyone to know, least of all my students. For years it was easy to stuff it away, compartmentalize it, and believe it wasn’t necessary for me to share. I was certain it would hurt my reputation, damage my career. Yoga teachers are held to high standards—and I had to live up to them. I had to maintain my integrity, but was it real without sharing my whole story? Continue Reading…