Expertitis is the self-doubt that comes from being exposed to too many experts, and not enough time connecting with and affirming one’s own voice. I find that many yoga teachers end up comparing themselves to the experts, and then judging themselves as not good enough. Especially as women, we are so prone to doubting ourselves. This is an area worth examining again and again.
Here’s how expertitis can show up… (And believe me, what comes next isn’t an exhaustive list. There are so many more forms!)
In newer teachers it can look like anxious nail-biting ~ you wonder if you even really know enough to help your students. When you don’t trust your own experience and how yoga has helped you in your own body, it can feel like there’s nothing to teach.
In experienced teachers, it can show up as playing it safe ~ only teaching exactly the way you were taught, or staying too tightly within your comfort zone. This means you’re afraid to claim your own space as an expert on your life, your body, your yoga!
It can show up as confusion about next steps and future programs to offer, because when you subtly devalue yourself, it’s hard to get clear on the potential power you have within.
It can show up as fear of taking a leap, or fear of letting go of a class or program that’s been working for a while, but has grown stale and outdated.
Yes, there IS a lot to know about Yoga. And yes, there ARE experts who have spent their whole lives studying it. How wonderful that we have them as resources — through the books they write, the speeches they give, texts they translate, YouTube, teleseminars, and in-person training and workshops. It’s truly revolutionary that this information is available to so many today.
But ultimately, Yoga isn’t in somebody else’s head. It’s in YOUR body. It’s in YOUR connection with the cosmic source, universal intelligence and creative presence that is love and bliss itself. This is who YOU are!
Yoga is about becoming a rishi, a wise woman who can hear the thoughts of the cosmos. It’s about joy and vibratory power.
And ultimately, nobody else is the expert on you. Nobody else has lived the life you’ve lived, gone through the trials and challenges you have, or seen what you’ve seen. Nobody else has lived through your messes and learned to clean them up.
If you’re a teacher, all that you have to teach is your own lived experience, what you know to be true in your body-mind-heart. Yes, you can deepen that experience through training and study, but ultimately, if that training doesn’t increase your confidence in your own authentic voice, you will have no more to give your students than you had before you started!
To find your voice ~ whether a practitioner or a teacher, start by asking these questions:
- What are my passions?
- What healing have I experienced through Yoga?
- What do I know to be true?
- What authenticity of my body and life comes to me in meditation?
- How does my body feel when I practice?
- What words and inspirations arise for me when I speak about Yoga?
This is the scripture of your life, the texts you embody, the truth you know. This is the path to recovery from “expertitis!”
Let yourself rest in the truth that flows in and through you. Rest in a state of ease, knowing you have the support of the cosmos in every moment. This is a gift of deep repose and relaxation you give yourself, and a gift you give to all beings.