Self Awakening Yoga Studio's Blog

Yoga, Breath, Light, Love


What did you come for??

When teaching a yoga class I always tell my students that I am not the boss of them on their mat.  While this usually gets a smile and even a chuckle, especially from those who know that I LOVE to be the boss of, well, everyone,  I am totally serious.   And here’s why.

When you step on your mat, your practice and space belong to you..and you alone. That person in the front of the room, the yoga teacher,  is simply a guide offering suggestions and providing instruction.  But the decision to follow your breath and inner wisdom to get what you came for….well, that’s all you.

When you step on your mat, take a moment during the centering session to think about what motivated you to attend class, get a clear picture in your mind of what you hope to achieve during class and make sure YOU get what YOU came for. 

What this really means is….learn to listen to your inner wisdom; learn the subtle signals your body and breath are sending and create your experience according to what you want to take with you.  Not according to a preconceived notion or what the person next to you looks like, or what you think you should be able to do and especially NOT what the magazine covers suggest, but what YOU came for.

Last night when I was describing the techniques of extended mountain pose, I realized…YIKES…I actually do sound like the boss of them.

  • Stand tall
  • Lift your toes
  • Press through the four corners of both feet
  • Engage your lowest belly muscles
  • Tuck your tailbone
  • Turn your inner thighs toward each other
  • Shrug your shoulders, up, back and down
  • Tilt the chin ever so slightly to keep the neck long
  • Close the eyes
  • Breathe in and out

See what I mean???  There is definitely some bossiness going on there…no matter how lovingly I said it.  BUT they were deciding individually how much they engaged the muscles, if they closed their eyes or kept them open, lifted the toes or kept them down, and how focused they were in that pose.  So again, basic direction, but how much you take or leave…..all you!

In my humble opinion, this is how every class you take should be….find what you came for….not what the teacher thinks you came for. If you find yourself in a studio where the teacher is pushing you to push yourself, take a step back, make the adjustments you need to get what you came for and then run as fast as you can and don’t look back!  Look forward, look for a studio that encourages you to be exactly where you are each time you step on your mat…not where you were or where you or anybody else thinks you should be….simply where you are right then and there.

Now….drop and give me 20 chaturangas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Tee hee….the boss in me coming out to play!

If you like my posts, please leave your comment in the box below!!! 

Peace and warmth,



  1. Denise
    March 2, 2011

    I love your posts Barbara. Very inspiring. Thanks for taking the time to write them and being brave enough to put it out there.

    • selfawakeningyogastudio
      March 2, 2011

      Hi Denise:

      Thank YOU for taking the time to read my posts and share your thoughts. I really have a lot of fun writing them.

      I am inspired every single day by individuals like you who are looking to enhance their lives by breathing and being present in each moment.

      You are my motivation!!

      Peace and warmth,


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