Alice Williams - What Is A Bad Yogi?


Hello my name is Ron. And this is the flow oddest podcast every episode, my co host Joe Stewart. I speak with inspiring movers, thinkers and teachers about how they find me a flow and much much more hope. You're doing okay. These are certainly interesting times last episode, talking about reopening the studio and now Melbourne is back and lockdown the six weeks. I think we're a little bit bitter, prepared with s Judea and website this time around, so it shouldn't be too bad transitioning into online classes. I can't help but feel a little bit sad about it. It was wonderful reconnecting with that community and Joan I discovered that we both really Miss Teaching Aerial Yoga love to hear your thoughts. So how was the brief foray into teaching in person for you? And how do you feel about the current lockdown? You can reach out to us via facebook or on our website at podcast dot artists dot com. We would love to hear from you. Or right so this episode pages interview with Alice Williams, Alice Yoga teacher writer envy of the Book Bad Yogi. It's a fun and hilarious rate where she talks about her experiences working on a very popular Australian sub off. Her Yoga. Teacher training at ca in malvern and more seriously how she dealt with an eating disorder as I mentioned. It is a great rate and John I both recognize a few of the characters in the book so I. Recommend Checking it out. Al Conversation with Alex was recorded way before this whole covert nineteen experience, so if it does sound a little bit out of date with current events I, do apologize, but it's a great conversation so I. Have a listen. This episode was brought to you by. Yoga Australia registering teaches training courses to ensure that everyone in Australia has access to quality yoga, teachers or get into our conversation with Alice Williams. All Right? We Ready Oh. Thank you so much for meeting with us. Today Alison Great to have you here pass, we could start with you just telling us a little bit about your background and where you grew up in that show well, I'm very much. Melbourne, Girl Athletes T. Oh, my life and I actually grew up in north. Get so north side. And when I was quite young, we moved to Williamstown. Which is western suburbs of Melbourne, and it was a very what kind of areas that that was a bit of a shock to the system, very. I guess conservative areas will check Kinda wasn't east, too. So that was an interesting transition, and that's where I began doing your and then I went to uni in like most Melbourne. Unique. Students dropped out pretty quickly. I ended up going to an monastry for a little while in Nepal, and that's where I kind of really got on the path. I guess yeah. And sorry. Did. You always know that you wanted to rush. That's a funny question. I was actually thinking about that the other day. Because people talk about those moments. We suddenly realize what you WANNA do. And I think I had one pretty young probably. But I think maybe stealing primary school would just started high school. And I was reading something and I just had these. It's not like a relaxation. It's just like knowledge. and I knew I was going to be a writer, and then my next thought was off shit. Because I thought rotting. It's going to be so hot so boring. I have to sit here and write these words, but for some reason I just knew what was going to be and then I spent ten years trying not to be. And it was funny because. After I got back from Nepal I studied filmmaking, and it was when I was. We all directed Aaron films and things like that and I really loved the writing thought scriptwriting the character development. And it was when I was directing sane, and I was screaming at everyone, because we filming under high school, which used to be a tepe, everyone was getting really seek, and having vomit between takes, and the lighting was making it. And I just I was losing it and I and I realized that I had no replaced leading anyone. You like this is my. Locked up in a room with no one around me was an every now and again. My partner says to be not really teamwork. And I am like through email. Directly and then I became A. You're contagious so there you go. and. Is Really Because it is a very active. But at the same time you. Know One. Can you trust me so I find that fun? I'm just kidding. That's a great benefit of. Actually WanNA interestingly and I wonder if this is a really common thing with yoga teaching, one of the hottest things I found about teaching when I started with the lack of feedback from students, so in a conversation or something like that, and you look at those verbal cues that people are understanding and. When I was teaching. You get that angry face if they're in a pie. That's really hot or they just really internal an when I'm in classes. I'm not really giving the teaching much because I mean my own kind of experience. But it took me a while to not take it personally that there isn't that feedback in there, otherwise gauging, if people with you or not, so yes, that was A. That was a big lesson. I had to do when I started teaching. It is interesting, isn't it? I'm sorry I'm just GonNa? Jump on son why you can teach a class net being you can think that went really badly in someone who tunes I almost that was amazing. I remember I just given blood. Actually it's in the book and I. Thought I Have Brad Blood Precious when I give blood, I get quite lightheaded. And I turned up to teach lunchtime office class and I just saw i. have no idea going to get through these so I? Just did my praying guidance. You kind of thing. And at the end of the class someone came, and that was the best class you've ever told and I thought all I need to dry myself. And I'll be fine. I feel. Quite often that happens. It's like. I didn't know it takes you out of your everyday mind or something, so he's a more transcended experience, teaching and light. Sometimes, that's when the magic really happens, and isn't that beautiful because I remember one of my classes on my teaches, said Cliff Fleming. Who you would have had yet, she said. The doesn't just work for the students. The Yoga works for you as a teacher as well and that was a really nice way of thinking i. it's not just me being great teaching the students it's actually. Channeling something that's been around for hundreds of years and I'm part of that as well. And you mentioned you actually. You actually started yoga back in Williamstown. How did that come about Oh? Well, let's see. How should I put it when I started when I was about seventeen? So. I grew up in the nineties GRUNGE era when? There wasn't much study going on. There's a lot of pot smacking. And I was doing a lot of that. And I was starting to have panic attacks, and not knowing that were panic attacks, and there was a local yoga studio and I think I'd hit. Oh, it's good for that kind of thing and yoga really wasn't as much of a thing at all as it was as it is now. This was twenty years ago and so I kind of totaled along and. My tape just said to me. She summed she looked at me and she just said you should really stop doing drugs. An auditor drugs and she just looked at me and city. It's not good for you. And she was right, I have a kind of Fatah very highly strung kind of energy in drugs. Just kind of send me off. And so. I guess that kind of replaced pot with a little bit, but it didn't really take off me until I. Did my first eyeing a yoga class? And it was the most hideous experience ever I remember, 'cause you know I. can get to the really big into adjustments, and they put me into trick enough in and I'd never done a trick enough met before. And it was like I can't describe it with like. Pain shooting through my buddy, but not bad pain like good pain and And it was, there was something really addictive about that intensity a yoga and I was in my early twenties thin. Sorry, I think when you're young. That intensity is quite attractive now I don't want it. Yes so that that led me eventually to want to become a tate and at the time. They really wasn't the kind of explosion of teacher training programs. There are now and. I thought I had to be an younger teacher because that's kind of what I did. And so I look I went to a few kind of information sessions about the training and nobody's smile and everyone was really kind of. This was my feeling at the time. I'm sure it made he wasn't like that, but it felt like everyone was really severe years and kind of. Calm and I was not carbon. I was not the image of what I saw. Those teachers baying until I lifted. I thought this isn't I can't do these, and I left it. Sort of a experience vying. To cast any scorn upon anger fable bit. Yes, it is quite precise. Very serious. But we love you if you do I. Please smile people. Sorry? What led to you making the self-described ultimate? Why go? And signing up to become a yoga teacher. What sock would you back ten years later? I know his break. Now, But I wonder if that is what leads a lot of people. Particularly if it's a career, change it, something's not going right, and you think. And I had just gotten a job in TV which is a job that I've been trying for years and years at started off doing feature film writing, and that didn't really go anywhere, and so the next best thing I thought was TV and the culture of. TV Show I found to be absolutely toxic and it was. I don't know I mean I'm sure there's actually a common feeling that you get to where you want in your career where he thought you wanted to be and it's. Just. Hernandez and you don't feel like you've got to Iraq because you think. How can I let? How can I let myself down I've worked so hard for these hacking I bow at, and then I thought Oh my God. They must be something wrong with me. And it got so bad. I was still sabotaging. That's when I really noticed aiding baggies. Teacher Training and dealing with eating disorder, and that's when I really noticed those food behaviors really adding up. And it was just getting like my body was making it harder and harder for me to deny that things weren't going wrong and I remember one night I, just lying in bed, and I just wanted to die. It was one of those things. I don't really want to go through the pain of doing it, but I just WanNa, not exist anymore, and it was when I was I think it was one of those moments when you. Finally crack and you think I've got nothing. Louise, what else to say, come on, if God. If there's anything, can you tell me now? What did he is supposed to be doing? Because he's isn't working? And that's when I found way key to say it verbally, but that's when I kinda felt these sensing myself or voice, or whatever it was just saying. If. You want something to change. You've got to be willing to give up everything and I thought. Yeah, why not? And I sort of heard that we spring before bed. I I had so many attachments to the career. These sort of that I wasn't willing to give those things up and sorry very quickly I mean it wasn't immediate, but I started researching different areas to go into and. A happened upon the yoga teacher training course when I was looking for cheap massages. And I tried a few different training through tots, which I talk about one of them with beaker mirror, which didn't go well, and then he'd upon the training that I did which I guess what you would classically was able to not aligned with one particular. Contemporary Classical Yoga Yeah. So the only teaches have different styles, but they're teaching the fundamentals of Meditation Asset, but not this is the Tangale the anger way, which was great, because you get to play around and and find your own way of teaching, and then the thing about your girl I realize very quickly. He do it quite intensely. It clears away all the veils that between you, and what's kind of working or not working? which was really? Didn't I didn't want to do that. I I thought being yoga teacher. I think Miami. Java was become spiritual. Be Teacher. I'll never have to suffer again because they'll be happy all the time. And instead it just actually took me deeper into what wasn't working. Which I now realize was essential, and what was meant to happen, and because I had yoga. It was kind of container for that, so even things were coming up. I had practices to deal with, and that's when I realized I had an eating disorder and had to go and deal with that, and it was a wonderful time to realize something like that because I was in this two year teacher training course. And everything I was going through really held within that training, which was just curricula I think. And I think it's one of those things that women often learning about these yoga practices. It's almost in this abstract way of like Oh these are the tools to help you navigate the storms of life. And if you just come on your Matt, you're like Oh Yep, but when you're actually in the midst of one of those really intense time, it's like Oh. Yeah, that's what these practices of for absolutely, and and I still do practice your your thing. If I just practice enough, I'll never have to stop. And? Of course, it's not true and I remember two things one the information. It was a two year training course and they said look the first year is really just about you applying these practices to yourself. It's about you understanding what it means in your own life the second years when we teach you to teach other people, you cannot teach until you've done that work on yourself. As attractive is, it would be too, and the other thing is I. Remember that first year philosophies quite intense slave latchkey. It's one hell of a teacher in that department and it was great. It was really far, but it's very heavy as well and I remember Hedda. Lay's wife was my mentor and I was saying. My Dad was seek using hospital and I. Thank God. Get it on my head around this and that and she said Oh screw it. He can see seat with your dad. He's dying and try and change his experience and really be present in your own experience. That's kind of yoga philosophy, and it really shifted my idea to being something that you studied and achieved to something that you took a little bit off and really started to understand your own life and lay actually. Quickly again he was, he was fantastic. In every time, we'd have a session on the sutras. He say not meant to read the sutures like book obviously meant to take one or two at a time, and really work with the in your life and life will show you what the that suit remains and then move onto the next. You might work with two a year and that's that's fantastic. Interesting I, see. Sort of a slide night, but I went to a training with Leslie. Kevin off. And he and yeah, it was amazing and he was talking about. Christian. Macharia, going through the sutras with. Jessica CIA, and through the course of the alive, actually went through. All of the Sutras. Entitled like three or four times, and and each time they went into a little bit more in depth, so I've night complaints I I thought that was completely right, did with a shower, the hot of yogurt with that beautiful explanation of the situation so accessible and sorry. If anyone was going to teach you, that would be. And just to the in depth exploration, and H I'm going. Kirsch Macharia of old Papal Hazel. I still need full. Go at this. Around five as well absolutely, and so I guess that leads us to some of these interesting parallels that you write about in your book between going through a twelve step program and Yoga teacher training at the same time. I mean that was free and intents. Let me tell you like I. I wasn't working much in the first year, so that was actually pretty grew because I could. Kind of dive in I didn't have kids I. Don't know how I would die if I had kids when you've got to pretend that you got together. And so I could really let myself kind of explore Bari and the parallel. It was interesting I found a lot of parallels and. Probably one of the main ones is that gets worse before it gets better and birth twelfth step, and Yoga really about systematically stripping back beliefs vials all that kind of stuff, which is Hodhod work? Which is why I always laugh at the contemporary imagery of Yoga, which is always about serenity in for me. Your get eventually about thirty, but I it's about. Hideous anger, blood and threat that kind of stuff and the storms and fires, but both your garden twelve ship equally about it's not meant to be like these self flagellating kind of masochistic stepping back, so they both really have these sensitive I mean easy. Does it use one of the twelfth step slogans? The sensitive of not kind of torturing yourself a little bit at a time. And one of my favorite quotes, because I was really diving in heavily, and it was, it was sorry hot, and also his dad within hospital, I was already in that really Roy head space, and in a way that was kind of good, because you can kind of get some air and really fast forward. But it can be too much sometimes and there. There's a quite in the Donna fiery book which I loved which is. Something like yoga practice can be a little bit like waiting a hillside. If you wait too much, you realize that the way to actually stabilizing the hill, and then it can actually be stabilizing, and that taught me to go a bit more gently and you need to have fun. And younger until stepping on anti-fun, but I became quite pies about it. And I think the main paralleled IC- between them I mean one the diocese dramatic. I do you do this? Yoga can be very self God 'cause clauses on. But but the twelve step, he's definitely one step at a time. You have a sponsor, but for me the Qe, the fundamental thing with I mix, is it? They're both about getting you to have a relationship with. A power greater than yourself and twelve step calls it a power greater than yourself. Oh Gosh, Yoga. There's like seven hundred words. Consciousness Brahma and All those things. Or done was the Nemo's where I came to me, which is now what he said again? It's like that registered doing fine yeah. I I had she was a real job for me to work out what that was to me and one. It was essential to recovery. Because the second step is that you have to kind of get there. But? I was brought up in atheist. So that was a real prices for me and I talk about it in bad Uruguay had the nicest find God essentially an quite logical, so it was quite pros cons. Oh, that stung. And sorry. If it's something you can put into words. Like what conclusion did you get too little of this swell changes every day for us I think. I'll try and keep it really simple. I did get caught up in a lot of the terminology. What do I call it now? I call it God just because it's simple and other people, but I know a lot of people have reaction to that 'cause. I have a church. He idea of and you gotta call it something, but really it's just. Might you know with him, but I really am sorry. Sorry Lee Latchkey fuel, listening to this and I'm getting these wrong, but I was reading up on on Yoga Philosophy. I lacked that idea that I know I'm going to get is wrong, so it's teaches I'm sorry, but it felt like the Atman is that the soul and the Brahmins like the universal consciousness something sorry that there is a universal God or universal conscious and on a little bit of that. And so I can trust my inner wisdom, and if I file that fails MAC and trust my Atta waste him and I know that I look I could talk all day about what it means, but I think ultimately it's just really about finding that sense of truth within yourself and nine that there's like a big truth that day that you can connect you and you feel lost, and however you experience that it's more of an experience than a language. And I. For better or worse, I, I tend to experience that in the park when I go walking in the trees, and all that sort of thing particularly morning, and with this is my favorite story about finding got his. Andrew WHO's high in the book. Hey is a tender teacher and he said look we all. The tantrums about six and all these kind of stuff, but really it's about seeing the divine all, and he can save the divining own. I mean that's garage and I thought Oh. That's an idea. Yeah! I invited all. Spiritual. And I remember P, morningside it was really early morning, and I was walking through the gardens, and this beautiful avenue of trees, where they kind of canopy, and these these Fanton at the end and I was walking through the canopy of trees I could see like the light coming through the fans, and it was like God was speaking to me. Like I really got these, and then when I got closer the fountain, my is down and I saw these and holding his paintings and looking at me, but not like in a sexy way like. Sad Way. Not that there sex. And he was just like he had these I remember they had these like dirty gray treks. And there's just so sad or and I mean at first my first instinct was shock, but very quickly I realized it's daylight. This job is I realized I wasn't in any danger. And then I just suddenly. Andrews, where it's popular, my I'd. Like I mean these divine moment, and if I can see God in the fountain. He's this man God his scholley in that man, just as much as in these trays and. That you're being leaving the philosophy. If, you're ever asked, do you? Are you really walking the walk? Can you see the divine in a man flashing you in dirty? I stood there in my face. I must have been having these really weird smile. He Looks Star Frieden. Dole is Newport if he's passing away. that. What a cosmic anti-drug! Six. And I looked at running away and I just I just. Prayed for my oh, what? What is that thing to want to do that and I don't think it was the reaction. But whenever I feel like on the with possessing the world, or I hate that person I remember that moment, and it's like man he can see divining. He can surely see in yourself, Anita other people. What a great lesson! There is something divine in this sort of sadness. The the timing, right? It's a waste into an you think you've got it. And then the invisible comments say if you think you've got it. How about this? Hurts like. The Penny capes dropping. But you think you figured it out. You're like. Oh, there's a whole nother layer here that I be. Having said that I think I'm done with flashes. Look, that calls me. Anymore. Just in case, anyone listening with thinking of. How? Does in teaches who'd would get their students intimidation and welcome on the back with a cane something. I don't know much bets in. The campaign is people falling asleep? Aw I thought it was about like visit. Crazy wisdom tradition has well I think teaches just do shop shock as Jewish people out of the yeah everyday Milan imagining. That's like I really good excuse for like. Six to teachers, kind of thing issues like trying to shock you out of your own. Yeah sure, yeah, yes, kind of debate poet Era! Sorry you've already mentioned a few of the teachers on the teacher training at I definitely recognized some familiar characters in the book, because I did the same coast and you change. The name changed a few little details. Did you have any internal dilemmas about how much to leave, and how much to change my God absolutely lately, and I would say these any is particularly memoir rod is it's a it's A. It's the number one thing I think he's he's. How do you write about real people? And I thought to myself a lot. And I think in the end. You just have to go for it. You just have to really go watson all and then it. It's much easier to edit once. You've written deputies to feel like you've got chains around your hands while you're trying to right. And so I just went for it, and then afterwards I changed the names, and I looked at times, when I'd been a little bit snarky and I. You really have to ask what the point of the stories is it in service to the story that making a point about me I'm just having a go at them. And often my observations about the teachers I tried to to make it that it was really about me and my hit space that was and so when I saw Andrew I, just really reacted against him, because he was so free and crazy, and and I wasn't and so. That was a judgment I had on human so as riding. Sort of that description of him in that way, but it was absolutely about me. So I changed the name a couple of the teachers. I gave it to them to just sort of say this is what's coming. Did you give it to Andrew I? Often him and he said and he ended up. I think being really happy with it, so that's good and I think people took it in the spirit that it was intended, but I definitely think if you are writing. Don't get ahead of yourself thinking about. How's it going to be received? Received you just have to think about that later? Yeah, I. Know I not ally beyond the taste is was also you rights really personal stuff about your family? Well Ceylon imagine that would have been like really hard to speak your truth and get all of this animals line, important part of the story jar I just went through months of insomnia before it came out just before publication, and it was sorry Hod to snatch the manuscript back and just delete everything. Soy often. It's my parents to rage before publication, and they said no, which was really great of them. And they basically said you know it's your story. It's I think there was an understanding that it's it's my perspective is not like the truth. Trees that there is no one trees and that's why I had that. At the start of Baggies, the court from David Sedaris, which is memoirs, Las Place. You're looking for trees because it's easy. Sorry, my experience. And it was interesting because I mean it was terrifying, but which. One of the things that people said about it is all ye really went there and revolt. And! And I I. It was really hard to write, and I was thinking have to have that reason for writing it and it was. If you can help someone else and I think that you have to be honest. That does that universal thing in the personal, and if you strip the detail and nuance out of your own story, it becomes meaningless. And I was talking to my editor about it because there's a lot of references to my grandfather who was painter and the legacy that he had on the family. and. She said all look and I said look. I take it out. Is it not relevant and she said look? I think it's a really fundamental thing that. Strong, patriarchal figure that influences the whole family and can that dysfunction can kind of travel. And, so I kind of kept things in which we paint which I thought were kind of archetypal. And there were definitely scenes which I combined. Aw, wising which I might disguise character or there was. There was a lot of things that didn't get in the book because they were just really fun and I thought. It's not necessary to put that in it. But. I'M NOT GONNA lie eighty excruciating writing a memoir about when families concerned because. We live with them. Yeah, and you're writing your innermost thoughts a-. Doubt them the things that you wouldn't say. Get Yeah, and again I tried to make it about me and hit space in, and it's funny, because a friend of mine is an older guy and he's got an adult daughter, and he said all she's writing his memoir and she's like. Saying how are we are like? It's really history than she's GonNa try and publish it and tell everyone how mainly we were and things. And I thought yeah. I really get that because when I started to write it with like yeah, I'm I'm great and everyone. Else's bad new. But then fortunately I I do think at some cosmic intervention that really shifted and I and I was thinking about what is the value of telling a story? It's not to drop people in it. Everyone's got their own path and I talk about that. In the book in the desert appeared one of the steps in twelve step, he's about taking an inventory of you. Resentments and things like that and a lot of stuff came up about my family then and my friend and I'm waffling so really. Give me a REP IF This is really interesting and I've actually notices quite commenting yoga people who really dive into Yoga as well. That, you can get a lot of resentment about things about upbringing in the way that you to consent beliefs and things like that. And I was talking to my friend Kate who is in the book who went through Rehab for heroin addiction and one of the things that they did and Rehab was they taught people about family dynamics in how certain dynamics can Lehto addiction for example. And she said we were all serve resentful. Would they watch documentary about it? And everyone was sorry wiped after the duck documentary hating their families had to bring in councillors. To. Say to everyone. Look your family out bad people. Everyone's doing the best that they can and that that that is can do. And when I had children a couple of years ago, it was shocking how much I understood about my own parents because I realize he was so limited by. Your own capacity to love to forgive and we're all pretty limited in in certain ways. Of course we're GONNA to pass onto our children, and I'm waiting for the reckoning, which my son's three and I'm already feeling like I'm having the reckoning. Forgiveness you can't you can be angry, but you can't stay there and I remember saying to me. You've been complaining about these through a really long time. Maybe it's time to move on, and that's that's really you're in twelve step helped me transcend that and come out the other side and I think. That, it's a really important thing when you are doing yoga and twelve step to take you out, have people bringing through realized periods? His shorts important to understand where he came from, but it's really important to give and take responsibility for your own life and Kinda move on as well. Yeah, it's kind of like here. Are The cards I was dealt? How do I want to play them? Yes, exactly exactly and and it's much it's liberating. It's liberating for other people as well and yeah anyway. Laurent here to talk about patriotic page patron as a way you can help support the podcast for as little as one door among high tears, get access to extra special content as well as a listing on our website and a shoutout on the podcasts, we also offer some extra content including a chat and I recently had where we talked about a last episode with Cora. Some of the work we've been doing mentoring teachers to get offerings online and how we found the experience. Experience of moving back to in person classes even for that short time. If you'd like to support us, as well plays go to page on dot com slash flow out his podcast and join the Patriot Klopp if you'd like to support us, and otherwise you can share this episode on social media subscribe to us on Apple, podcasts, or spotify, or just reach out and let us know your thoughts on this or anything else alright. Let's get back to our conversation with Alice Williams. Sorry just hearing. You speak about all of this now. It almost feels like the book is. Was Barth continuation of Yoga Training and your journey to recovery. Did it feel like that? Riding at the time was just like a natural progression of both of those pile, absolutely and I think to get to a point where Tiki late things. It was a lot of mental and emotional work, not just sitting down at the computer, but Noticing something would come up and I wouldn't be able to riot and I eat. I mean this is a fundamental teaching of Yoga is. Get curious if you noticed something up, get curious so every day when I'd noticed that I was really blocked can get curious. What's going on here and it would be something shameful. I didn't wanNA write about myself or resentment. I didn't know that I'd had that I knew. I was putting in the book to get revenge on someone, and so was really conscious of working through that heartfully I did before I. Actually put it out into the world. N- remember doing an interview about it, and they're talking about Boehner ability, and how does it feel to be vulnerable in a book and things and I don't feel vulnerable talking about it down the work around it. And if you still feel vulnerable about something I, would argue that you're not really ready to put it out there. In the public spotlight space some running something at the moment that which I still feel really vulnerable about. And I know that it's not ready to go out I. Just have to to work with so I think writing for me is. God I never thought I'd say these two beautiful spiritual practice. He saying that. You just saying as well. It's actually something I've read about as a principal of trauma informed teaching like to take from the skies, and not the words, so you can interesting. Yeah, you can share the stuff from your life and how you got through it, but don't share the raw stuff. Don't you stuff that you'll still healing and still working with because it's too raw to unleash on other people when they're tailoring stuff going on? Do you find when you're teaching? Sometimes you go there and you? Oh, I've got to steer why from that because I'm not through it yet? I actually had I did have that experience I was. Must Palestinians Nari that Ron had stomach cancer a few years ago, and we thought it was terminal for a little while and just I. Only told a few of my students that all of that stuff was going on because I actually found that just going to teach and having that different perspective for that Allah and my name present with other paypal. was exactly what I needed at that time, 'cause you know there's a lot of talk about into city and honesty a show, but it would not observe to like break my heart open every class and share from that place because. I needed that time where I wasn't in the depths of all of that emotional intensity, and it was actually really helpful to help me navigate through the rest of the life stuff that we had going on and I guess like we do share about always talk about that stuff. We talk about it on the PODCAST, but I'm also aware of. We know what people are bringing to their practice WanNa emotionally. People. Coming to Yoga, as they are in response from the burdens that they might be carrying in the rest of their life because he worried about you. Exactly, it's pulling them out of there are in practice definitely. Yeah, it's funny. I wonder if you both families when you're doing your training, I remember there was a point in training where we're all pretty war, role Weiner, really getting into it, and when we say how you yet the stuff just coming up and destroyed. And and it was that kind of discovering will authenticity means, and sometimes you'd go a little bit to Fi- RV share because this is seeing on TV and it feels great. Let's have no shame about things, but then as you go along, you relies actually the batteries in place and Brunei. brown is fantastic about sharing with people. Who the right to hear I. Guess It's good to make it all about you. The class, some spice to experience that said on both told the same story in classes this morning at cat who's just got these obsession with gluten free, bread. Stolen basically. Right off. The other night, and this morning I had this like scrunchy noise, and he got on the table, and like gravity's Packa- roles and lack tone into it and. Open up the bag and they're like little kitty tastes. Expensive Gluten Free Rolls and we've always felt the need to share that story. Mexican? Food. Yup. We date. Why not. I sort of curious was the. Particular moment that you decided you had to write the book or It's funny because when we were doing when we're doing the training. We had to Kate to Journal so a philosophy journal end in Journal. and. I was really writing the truth, but I tend to ride it in little saints, these happened in Niceties I. And that's often how I think in things I guess, and later on it struck me that some of it was kind of funny, and it was very different to the yoga stuff I was reading, which was quite serious and. and. I thought Jeez. Wouldn't it be great if like someone wrote something that could like Sherry the funny side of it as well so it's not only heavy, and then I thought. Hell out of it. And also I thought I. DON'T WANNA. Go through all these suffering and not turn it. This is good material. Right. And sorry I guess that leads us to this idea of yogic perfection and perfectionism, and by the shadowy within the community, which is definitely one of the things that you address in bed yard. He kind of inherent in the title really. Be Honest night that my question, yeah! Is there anything you'd like to share around that? Absolutely, only God I meet East I, remember these fantastic. You knew court, which if I, get it, someone tell me and it was something like we don't become enlightened by imagining enlightened beings who becoming Latin by making the darkness conscious and I remember Andrews, teaching tantric teachings were very much about transforming that darkness and. I look I a lot of its ensures. You've I would often find myself in your Gra environments and look, it was no one's fault suddenly and maybe I was imagining it, but you know you sometimes you're in a class or trait, and it feels like daisies groupthink or group feeling that goes on, and sometimes it's wonderful like it when you really going into the philosophies coming through, and everyone's really getting it. And other times I would find I'd be in place in would feel quite oppressive that it's quite perfectionist, and knowing wants to get wrong and I've been in workshops with quiet. Steamed teaches, and that's definitely been there being quite surprised because I I guess I. Put some teachers on a pedestal and I thought surely they wouldn't be encouraging these kind of fiction. And yet they were some of them are stifling environments. I was in and. I remember doing these retreats, and it was all women. I don't know if it's unique to environments where there's lots of women or what any one gender like I think single gendered environments can have good and bad qualities. But everyone was just being so good capital G. Greg in rural, grateful and bowing to each other all the time, and all these wonderful wonderful, and even on the coffee break. You God now decide. And and it just felt like there was. You weren't allowed to show personality. You couldn't say I know I'm really struggling this. That came up. And what do you think these means and? Everything was just scratchy. Gratitude and I remember. I went with my friend and we're driving home and rudy speeding down the highway. Swearing and she was. This is Kate who is six? Where could? She was telling me all dirty six? And it was kind of like just these unleashing of repressed energy. And I know for myself. I can be quite a perfectionist like. Hong Kinda, person and So I guess it's tapping into my intuition about am I, really getting like holding these too tightly, because if I am and I've certainly had classes pretty. COMMUNARDS teach beginning teaching. Round really knew that I was having this controlling energy on the students as well and bringing kind of FIA in the class, which is my iron fear about not being good enough teacher. And, so I think for myself. I realized that I have to get familiar with my own shadow and forgive it and I often do that meditation. Where on notice that I'm feeling really the base feelings. We will have envy desire. Whatever it is and I have to go yet. To have that. I remember it said to me once liberating. If people knew what we really thought, we'd be locked up and it was like all thank God. My. Thoughts. And that's. We have it's very liberating to accept. They slide to be self and I. Really Talk About in the book it was. Shocking to. Name it, but shocking experience to go to an Ashram in Melbourne and they have the Ashram around Stralia in the world. And now is is really fear driven. I felt atmosphere, and we're very heavy on. You WanNa. Latch away leggings. You weren't allowed to wear fitted clause because that might incite lost. You had to do these do that. Don't do this, and they were they senior teachers. He kind of would walk around in like police. And I remember thinking on, and you know at the end we we chant for our about divine, these enjoy that main. Meanwhile, it was a very joyous atmosphere. And then later on, I was doing research about sexual abuse within the community for not cool, and came upon all these transcripts from the child. What are they called? The Royal Commission on Child Sexual Abuse and they mentioned this particular Ashram and later of the Ashram. Had Been Abusing underage people, and what was most disturbing to me, was that his senior female teacher had been assisting him and everyone in the Ashram at the time. Probably we're not everyone, but most people probably had a pretty good idea of what was going on. And I. Get chills thinking about it now. Because the woman who is leading the Ashram and I. Think she's probably still there. She said in the court documents. Yeah, but those those girls could be pretty flirtatious and I just. My blood runs called thinking that this the abuse happened I think twenty years ago, but people who able to steal their. Attitudes is still there and I think. If you daren't acknowledged the shudder. I mean sure it's nice to say we've got to do it, but. If, you're in one of those yoga communities where quite closed leaving environment if the group doesn't acknowledge, the group showed then abuse can flourish in. It happened in that I. Think the Sheva I. Don't want to name the wrong, but there was another one in Melbourne that happened and and the effect on the people I mean you rate about people who've gone through abuse in the Catholic Church and they talk about when faith and abuse mixed the thing that you really relied on you to get through tough times is tainted. In one of the survivors I talked to the article said. We held these state. You're in high esteem, and when he's being in charge of your awakening, suddenly that awakening itself seems false. And one of the students edge. We were taught. This is one of the transcript. She said that there was. That, the higher up the person who abused you, ause and I'm getting a bit dark on. Sorry but. The closer to awakening. And I it's horrific because I think we can talk about these things as if they're in the past. Oh, yeah! We know about these things that would never happen, but I think that thing about that kind of abusive power source subtle and happens by degree little bit by little bit. It's not to someone corners you in an alley. And we look at the stuff with beaker. Muruga and read about anything how that happened, but it's that group mentality and I think I, know from my own experience in training and I kind of take the piece out of it in the book, but evening class of students. They was his feeling of. We're not getting it this not something wrong with us, and we're not trying hard enough, not Yogi enough. And that's why quoted. Bad Ye this idea that we Yogi can ease toxic in. And your Geeky Nafis accepting that we're titled Bags of neurotic whatever and that's okay, that's fine. Yeah exactly. Yeah. No, it's really interesting. I mean I had a workshop experience recently. I won't go to on. I had a bit of a rant on facebook about. Just the group dynamics like you said it just sort of. There was one person that same to bit outside from the group to begin with and towards the end he sort of. Made certain comments about a different I guess guru. And this person was quite forcefully and furiously rejected from the group. And that in itself, I don't think there was probably any other way that. That could have happened, but just because he was being really disruptive. Yeah, yeah, but it just sort of I found it quite scary. How the group just? The idea that you're not allowed to say that. This isn't the right place to say that I K- yell had lots of money to be here. This is what we paid for right. It's inconvenient. Eventually and. India just how group unified against this person. Interesting and I. Don't know I, feel like in certain contexts within the the cycle spiritual community. Even the language we use can lead us towards the sister nation, which is not gary in what way what language I guess when we say things like like you mentioned before that. We should. Anything saying we should be arriving at a particular destination I. think sits up things for. That's interesting because I guess it's also about responsibility, and I think about someone like Marianne Williamson who in the. Spiritual world and she talks a lot about. If you become a your your teacher off you going to spiritual stuff, somehow you can't have that spiritual bypass way you educate yourself for responsibility for the world. You still have to speak. Happy still have to do what's right. It's not just looking at yourself and your all. That's just my issue. You do have to speak up and she leads me to a question. I was just about to us because we all identified this issue in this dynamic in different places that we've Bainian. Where to from here, like what do you do when you kind of sense that current in the room and that feeling of group mentality and maybe? It, not feeling rush figure. Yeah, look I think on a big advocate of the Middle Way, not demonizing any one particular group and don't think we and is just a different Hubbard. Great mentality really looking. Right is group on facebook. It's women riders, and it can get quite hated in there about you not allowed to say this Weirdo that word. You're not allowed to say. Hey, guys because that's. Agenda. And Look I, I understand, but I think we can meet the bigger picture, a little bit and sorry I think when you're in situations where there is that group feet think one you have to think easy, actually worth saying. Is it kind of it is I think it's coming at it from A. Not, a position of opposition, but we've all got the same goal. And maybe this idea is impinging that goal so not coming at it from UTICA, there's enough polarization as it is, but you still have to be direct and. One of the things I've noticed in yoga world. Well, not. I'm being kind of generalizing, but they can be tendency to Heggie bits, and you don't really say something to strongly. There's that wishy-washiness. No, that's never what it's about. It's about really tapping into that fire and children, the Buddhist nuns. She says it's not about becoming this personality Bliss Blob. It's about bracing the spice in the fire and and taking responsibility. Yeah that. I think that's a really good perspective. As well because the phone training I was just in those little discussion about owning what we feel and using I. Statements and not being kind of like waste. Vince about like Oh. Yeah, this thing happens in society, but actually like I. Feel like this or I feel like something just happened here and maybe we should all have a bit of a look at that, because think no one can argue with you about how you feel And that's exactly what you're saying that being authentic and speaking up but not. Speaking for anyone, but yourself may agree in that situation I. Think the other thing that I. Am I'm noticing myself hedging my bets about how to say this, but I think that there's I statements. I think they're great and we can also sleep into. I'm offended, or I'm heard. Therefore, you've done something wrong that that sense of that victim place. And? Even though it's easy important to earn your truth, it's about earning it a not holding others responsible like it's your job to say how you feel. But it's not anyone else's job to fix that. Does that make sense? Yeah, definitely and I guess as well. It's not your job to say how you feel every second century. Oh God I had a friend that was. So worried I am that I. Won't having a podcast is so good. Write a memoir and then. I. Say, you're right in that your idea about your somewhat sarcastic time that you often take in like your online, you know like articles and you'd kind of named it. He halide that Saigon sident sarcastic age to you're writing something that comes really easily, and it's funny, and it's engaging, and it is kind of. Poking Fun at a sacred how or two, but do you think it's also a way of kind of masking a bit of vulnerability, absolutely absolutely and I I was aware of that and then the further I've gone on further I've seen. It can be a shield, and it's usually when I'm reading something in my poll readers. I'm sure they've had it before I. Did in fact some of them have? Have told me Matab rod it because of it, it's when I'm getting quite tied reading my writing and it's like I've really been hammering something. What am I? What am I trying to hide behind and definitely humid can be a, but I didn't is going to sound to be my child grown up, but I didn't realize that hasn't with hostile kind of form of humor until I had children. And then I realized that kids don't get sarcasm. Not Old enough yet to understand the nuance, but they get this hostility behind it, and that's when I decided to really pull back and think if I need to be sarcastic to make a point. What's going on new theory that away, and not saying that you can't be funny, but if I'm relying on that to be funny. Kinda lazy or this. There's something there that I need to look at. So can I call it one of your articles? After a long week of telling paper debris, the in and ask, there's nothing better than lying on the catch to what should jelly good beheading of turns? And if the theme of the classes equanimity chances are we try not to take it personally that people who turned up to last night's class DETTORI body. Love Patience and forgiving those who wronged us. And side that was from your article. Things that Yoga is dying to tell you, but probably aren't. which I think is hilarious. Thinking you. That was very funny. When I wrote that because I didn't think it would do anything, it's just a quick fun thing. And then it got republished an American side, and I think it went up to have a million, and I thought if I got paid by that, it'd be great butting. Get paid anything so that sucks. What was really interesting about that was it had a lot of comments afterwards from Yoga teaches, and it was really polarized between on my God. Thank God someone saying these and Real Anga like e should be a yoga teacher and I don't think these things and Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah and when I started to think about the shadowy side of your get that. When there was that real pushback that had day. You you awful person than I thought I kind of fun. Let's let's keep going here. Obviously I've like struck something. And say has your perspective on the world changed much since you're right bad Yogi. Yeah, well I think. I'm probably moving in different circles than I was, but one of the things that I've noticed is that there seems to be a lot more focus on diversity in body positivity in Yoga which is brilliant, and at the same time there's a whole lot more instigate influences in that that side. It's always skinny white on a beach in the background. That side is stronger than ever, and I don't think it's going anywhere, but I think we're getting to be more critically informed about how to understand didn't deconstruct those images. and. I think one of the things I'm actually really noticing as a student is I. Mean there's a lot of the lot more teacher trainings that. Teaches at foster right. The teachers are quite young. And I think it's brilliant. That younger is becoming more accessible to people, but at the same time there are a lot of teachers out there who maybe don't have life experience, or who have that image of Yoga. And I'm re our. It really frustrates me that I'll be in studio classes and they'll be a teacher. He doesn't really look at the students. WHO's not looking in assessing the students posture. One of my bug as adjustments like I li- I mean I come from a younger I. Love a good adjustment. It makes me feel cared about and makes me feel I. Can progressing and a real reluctant to put hands on a student, and I look I understand this stuff about consent, so find a way of getting consent and you. Someone doesn't want it. Don't do it, but the title hands off approach like I say people who've been in the same class for years, and they're still doing these horrible and when I say horrible, I mean like really unaligned looks really horrible for their joints. Parties I WANNA go in there and say look just. 'cause you know every time it's going to late to injury. And it feels like. A lot of teachers aren't really saying saying this students. They just coming in teaching the class of being taught to teach. And also I kind of mourn and look I found really old jaded, but the just that thing of. It becoming an exercise class in that, there's not a lot of bringing of yoga philosophy, just a little here and there it's only an age. And there's not that sense of we are doing this to draw inwards to kind of feel good I can do this. I can't do that, Pyrenees. So that that's saddens me, but on the other hand there's a lot more in the direction of understanding of your corden injury. There is a lot more awareness in that area and yeah I look. I think anything that encourages diversity is brilliant I. Really do get tired of seeing studios having one body type in all the imagery, their advertising. Yeah. It's really frustrating especially when they position themselves as positive studio, there are a couple of studios in Melbourne. Who? Have Teaching does not reflect what they say. The philosophy is, and it's it's funny. I was on Instagram the other day, and I saw a teacher that I used to have and she was. On a clifftop doing that been that most people can't do and the court with something like respecting your body in its limitations. And not comparing yourself and I just thought. Like. Off To people who want to put peaches themselves on instagram doing that stuff there. There's no problem with that, but then if you're going to talk about not comparing yourself, of course, people are going to look at that and think Oh, I couldn't do that. And of course, people are gonNA. Look at that and think not should respect my body's limitations so that. That kind of hypocrisy can can be strong. Sometimes I think just Asako back to what you're saying about your experience in class as well how it doesn't even have to be a hands on physical adjustment, it can just being present with that person and being mindful and teaching in a way that helps people find their own INA alignment and have that mindful awareness. And that can be philosophy. It doesn't even have to be a Sutro and required Josten. Guiding people into a more rich in a experience and better understanding of themselves, but you I think to do that. You have to be able to do that. Yourself and I've noticed I noticed when I started teaching yourself in rushing from class to class and I was feeling not in my body, and I just got their five minutes before and. It, I mean it should be in the job description of a argued that teach you that you have to take five minutes. I sent to yourself, and if we're not centered and I include myself so much in this, I'm so she that was made this morning. Boy was sent it. How are we going to give that to students But yeah, that's not usually in the. Comes back to that perfectionism thing as well like we aren't always perfect. People who've set aside. Every morning, so we can take your place and hopefully just comes through within. You know. He's a bad stuff kind of all the way. So. I guess we're coming towards the end of our time together. I feel like we could probably talk for now that. I'm I. Do have one more question and that is if you could distill everything you've learnt and everything that you teach a navy everything that you've written down into one call listen. What do you think that one thing would be? It would be. That we all have that wisdom insiders. It's there even when we can't hear it and I. Really WanNa. Stress fit even even when we don't think we're worthy of match and it loves us and we're perfect. And all we need to do is figure vessels, figuring others and get quiet and listen, and that can be the hardest thing of all, but you'll save so much money in coaching in workshops in pay other people to tell you what you should do if you can learn to listen to that, voices help. Oh. What a great night to end on! Thank you so much, Kitty! I hope you enjoyed our conversation with Alice as I mentioned at the start. Who Book Bad. Yogi has an excellent raid. You should definitely check it out. For our next episode we're speaking with Robin Kameda on pretty excited about this episode, because recently wrote the book infinite threads, one hundred indigenous insights from old Moody Manuscripts, which takes you on an epic opening journey through a series of one hundred interpretations of the Wisden's stories and words of. Moldy sages I absolutely love this book as someone who is Modiin feels slightly disconnected from his indigenous roots, and for me this book highlight some of the commonalities between indigenous and eastern spirituality. Look out the episode in two weeks time, we'll be right out things as baby robots by go Gozo and is used with permission gives music from Gozo dot bank came dot com. Joe and I would like to under the out of these wisdom traditions of Yoga and mindfulness from India and other parts of Asia. We also wished to honor the traditional custodians of the unseeded land. This podcast is recorded. There were under the people of the KULIN nation. Thank you so much for listening Joe and I appreciate you. Spend your precious time with. At Ohio Nowy, big big love.

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