Admittedly when I started yoga I had a healthy mistrust of the entire ‘guru’ culture. I associated it with blind faith, pointless rituals and baseless beliefs. This perception influenced me for a very long time.
It took me years to find my teacher. Even when I found him I actively made it a point to reiterate, “He’s my teacher, not my guru.” Today I don’t even know what that means!
I feel that over the years I’ve shed a lot of my preconceived notions. This takes a while, and I feel yoga helped me ease up and soften. After almost 6 years with my teacher I’ve come to realize that there is great comfort in allowing someone else to take control for a little while. There is a comfort that comes from allowing yourself to accept that sometimes someone else may know what is best for you.
We need to now own our culture and our spirituality. We need to dissociate the word ‘guru’ with orange robes and nonsensical rituals. Studies have shown that those who consider themselves spiritual and/or religious enjoy higher levels of wellness than those who don’t. Perhaps we need to analyse our beliefs and recognize our unique brand of religion/spirituality. Let’s not try and fit ourselves into a mould, rather, let’s create a mould that fits us well.
If you’ve been going to the same class for years now, consider yourself committed.
If you go to class and find yourself questioning less and accepting more, consider yourself devoted.
If you seek your teacher out for an opinion on a non-yoga dilemma, you might just be on the path to finding your guru.