Monday, March 14, 2011

Reflections: Yoga Teacher Training Day 6

Anger and Gurus

This weekend's classes left me feeling so light, happy and balanced. Workshops centered on the Chakras - Sanskrit for 'wheel' or 'circle', and Gurus - Sanskrit for 'spiritual teacher', as well as core poses and forward bends. However, it is often the lunch time talk with newly acquainted friends, which captures my thoughts.

The lunchtime conversations between the foreign females can be just as educational and enlightening as the classes. Sunday's conversation centered on Anger. We all seemed to agree that girls, or at least the ones at our table, handle anger differently to men.

We spoke about our experiences with our boyfriends, husbands and brothers. It seems us girls don't take other's anger personally. If someone gets angry at us, or cuts us off in traffic, or says something nasty, we often react by feeling bad for that angry person, because they are... angry, unwell, troubled. While our male partners may get upset because they feel we are letting someone 'walk all over us', we feel that becoming angry would only make us upset. It is easier and more positive to let it go. Yelling back, or thinking violently only serves to make us mad - an emotion that we fell is not favourable.

I mean, everyone gets angry. But it is how you deal with that anger that got us thinking.

It seems that it is hard for us to convey this idea of non-negative reaction to our partners. Just as men may think that this approach to anger is frustrating, we too, find it difficult to understand how our dearly loved men can easily turn to violence to feel better or solve a problem. Perhaps it comes down to one thing. Hormones. Or perhaps, Empathy. It could also be that the world has distinctly moulded us into two groups. Boys and Girls. Men and Women. Even Lovers and Haters. Optimists and Pessimists? Maybe it is not a simple girl vs. boy thing after all...

Perhaps we all need a Guru.

Immediately when hearing the afore mentioned word, my mind races to stereotypical images of lotus sitting Indians, perched on the edge of the Ganges, clad in an orange loin cloth, with matted greying hair falling over a painted white face. Of course, I knew better than this. I know a Guru is a teacher, guiding one to their personal awakening. However, that cynical side of me that often rears its ugly head, popped up first.

Teacher Michael said, "Absolutely. You must have a spiritual teacher in order to learn about yourself." He said that he himself has many gurus. His wife, son, the ocean, a contented homeless man, every student he has ever taught. People who allow you to learn more about yourself and your world can be your spiritual teacher, your Guru.

You don't need to select a Guru. I think your Gurus will find you. It got me thinking Who are my Gurus?. Who has allowed me to learn about myself? The world? Books? Am I allowed to say Oprah? This is one I am going to have to think about...

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