We wouldn’t worry about what others think about us if we realised how rarely they do.
As that picture clearly shows, there are exceptions to that saying, but generally I think it is true… and that can be quite helpful if we concentrate on the not worrying part.
As for the selfish sounding second part, I would like to think that could simply be because we are often so concerned about what people think of us that we don’t notice a lot of other things.
That’s not great, but if we can manage to see it is happening, at least we can work on it.
I’ve been thinking along these lines recently because a newly qualified yoga instructor I know has been getting her knickers in a twist worrying about what her students think of her teaching.
She took over from the woman who set up a class ten years ago and many of the participants have never done yoga with anyone else.
They were bound to be set in their ways but they continued attending when Sal took over and they all say they are extremely pleased the class didn’t fold when the original instructor retired.
Never-the-less, the first two classes have been very stressful because she has been overly concerned about how her students were judging her performance.
In a way, that was good because it showed she cares about what she is doing. It also gave her a chance to practice some of the stress releasing techniques she wants to share.
Interestingly, though she says the thing that helped her the most was a story her son shared about his experience with yoga.
He’s only been to two classes and he told her he hasn’t a clue whether the lady who taught the first one was any good because he was so focused on what he was trying to do himself.
And he said he can’t remember a single thing the second instructor did or said because he ate a big meal before going and for the entire class all he could think about was trying not to fart.
I had to laugh when I heard that one because I’ve been there myself. Perhaps Sal has as well.
Anyway, the possibility that some of her students may be struggling to stifle anal wind has helped her realise many of them may not be judging her at all.
That takes the pressure off and means she now stands a far better chance of communicating the benefits of relaxed effort.
Another benefit she hopes to share and develop in her class is balance… and not just the physical kind that allows some people to stand on one leg for ages.
She also would like people to see that most situations are neither totally good nor totally bad.
That means even something as trivial as farting in a yoga class, or simply trying not to, could potentially become quite useful.