I have to say I have never been a huge fan of Seane Corn. I borrowed her DVD from a friend and I liked it. Yes, she is a great teacher, but she never really spoke to me. I never took teacher trainings with her. I avoided her at yoga conferences. There was always a lot of hype around her and I just didn’t get it. I couldn’t figure out what the big deal was. To me she seemed like every other female yogalebrity. She would never be my teacher, or so I thought...
I have spent a large part of my yoga career on the fringe. As a bigger bodied brown skinned yogini, I never really identified with the extra bendy super thin Caucasian yoga superstar stereotype that is always placed before me. I always felt she was the epitome of that, so I avoided her.
I have struggled to find my place in the yoga world. I never felt comfortable in the mainstream yoga community. I avoided placing myself in advertising for my studio for a long time because I didn’t fit the stereotype and I was afraid people wouldn’t want to practice with me.
Recently, I was invited to be a contributing author of a book on Yoga and Body Image (check it out here). I was thrilled to be included. It is nice to know that my voice in this community matters. One of the contributors of this book is Seane Corn. I was surprised by her inclusion in this body of work. I saw her as the ultimate picture of modern day yoga. How could she know what it is like to be on the fringe of the yoga movement? She seemed to be this yoga super star. I was sure her name would sell more books and that would be her contribution to this cause. And then I met her and my mind was changed in an instant. I have met lots of yogalebrities, but this was different. I wasn’t paying to be in her presence. It was a chance meeting that I will never forget.
It was super casual. I was at the Toronto Yoga Conference this past March. I was checking out the trade show when I stopped to tie my shoe. I looked up and there she was Seane Corn. I said “Hi Seane” like I knew her. I felt I did, her picture was everywhere. She said hi back. Then I felt bad and I apologized for addressing her like I knew her. I said I am sorry, I don’t know you and I addressed you like we know each other. She stopped, shook my hand and introduced herself and asked me my name. She said now we know each other. Wow, not at all what I expected. She could have kept walking.
Then I realized I was judging her and I needed to understand that we are all human beings in pursuit of the same things. A friend of mine had encouraged me to take her Off the Mat training. I avoided it. She wasn’t my teacher. After the chance meeting, I decided to check it out. The more I researched Seane Corn the more I realized she could be my teacher. Although we don’t look the same, our purpose and passion for the practice are the same. I changed my mind about Seane Corn in that moment.
I took a leap of faith and recently registered for her leadership training “Off the Mat and Into the World” I saw that she cares about the same things I do. She uses her yoga for humanitarian pursuits and to raise awareness to greater causes. I was delighted to see the topics featured in the Off The Mat into the World Leadership Training like: yoga and diversity, social justice, yoga and inclusion, gender justice, racism, and mindfulness in schools and the prison system. This is what I want to champion. This is how I want to change the world.
Once again, I was reminded not to judge a book by its cover. The very thing I was avoiding is the very thing that will push me further into my quest for yoga and inclusion. We must remember true yoga sees no colour, no boundaries, and no exclusion.
The lesson I learned is to see beyond what I think I know, to let go of my preconceived notions and be open to possibilities.