Don’t embarrass your Partner in Public – Signs of Disharmony in Relationship – 30 Jan 12

I don’t know if you have ever been in this situation but probably everyone has experienced it at least once on some kind of social gathering, be that a party, a family meeting or just a get-together of friends: You all are talking and enjoying and there is one couple who seem to have a small fight with each other with each sentence one of them says. It is not an open argument but one of them always seems to either criticize the other one or to make fun of him. Not a good situation for those around, is it?

If you realize that you are in this situation, it is time for you to consider some improvement in your relationship. Nobody likes to be criticized and get embarrassed in front of others. Some partners however seem to be doing it intentionally. They make fun of a habit of the other one which is actually a very private matter for example. Or they ask ‘Why do you always do that?’ when everyone is around. That happens in front of children, family, friends and relatives. Would you have mentioned this topic in private, alone with your partner, there would not have been any issue – the problem is that you did it on purpose in front of everyone to embarrass the one about whose feelings you should care most.

Sometimes it comes to a stage where the partners don’t even find valid or important points to criticize anymore but start picking up every little sentence and every small action of the other one just to find a mistake in it and to either laugh about it or to criticize it.

If you notice this, it is a clear indicator for you that there is no harmony in your relation. You might have already noticed this before because you already take your fight out of the bedroom into the public. You actually show everybody that there is no harmony in your relationship.

Before you do this, you should however think about what it will bring you. Why do you do it? You are obviously in a situation that you cannot normally talk to your partner anymore. Do you think your partner will realize his mistakes and your relationship will improve? This is not the right way to improve your relation, it will not work! You will only bring more bitterness in between you.

Are you trying to get help from your friends or relatives? Let me tell you, that won’t work either in this way. You actually make fun not only of your partner but also of your relationship and everybody else feels awkward through your comments, too! What should everyone say now? Should they answer to your comment? But they won’t want to hurt or embarrass your partner, even if it seems to be your intention! Should they favour one of the two of you? No matter whether they are your friends or your partner’s or common friends, they won’t feel good in this situation!

The consequence is instead that your friends don’t want to meet you both together anymore. They feel unwell when you come together because there is no chance for a normal, peaceful conversation. They don’t know what to say because the answer always is some kind of unnecessary criticism, a nasty comment or a joke at the expense of the other one. So they would rather be only with one of you – it is just more peaceful!

If you are with a couple who is in harmony and love with each other however, you feel happy to see them together, to see their joy and to feel how happy they are. Why wouldn’t you want to bring your relationship to a point where people would love to be together with both of you?

I don’t mean to say that you should put on a mask and hide your feelings in front of other people. You don’t need to pretend that you are a great couple while you actually fight every day. You need to look at the root of your problems. Ignore all the little things that you say to the other one in front of others and go deeper. If both of you agree and really want to have a change, any problem can be solved!

Why Indians Relate Westerners with Sex – 28 Jan 11

Yesterday I talked about the impression that westerners get of Indian people by their behavior in public. To tell you the truth, the image that many Indian people have of people of western countries – be it Europe, America, Australia or any other place that is considered ‘western’ – is that they are fully open about their sexuality. They believe it is a ‘free sex culture’ in which everybody can have sex with anybody at any time. And when an Indian person comes to another country and sees how boys and girls are kissing or hugging on the street, additionally with lighter clothes than Indians are used to wear, he sees themselves confirmed in their opinion. Unfortunately this makes some of them also think that it is easy to have sex with any western girl and in the consequence they try which sometimes leaves both them and the girl embarrassed.

I may have mentioned before that after my first trip to Europe I was asked by an Indian person ‘When people go out of their house and go on the street there, then they wear clothes, right?’ The average Indian person who does not know more about western countries than what he has seen on TV may think that you can ask anybody in the west to have sex with you and they would not mind it. They get to know that in the west people tend to change their partners, sometimes very quickly, that many people don’t get married and have different boyfriends and girlfriends each week, month or year. This enforces this impression very strongly.

Of course western tourists also contribute to this image. When western people come to India and have not informed themselves about the culture, they sometimes walk around in clothes that attract everybody’s attention. Short skirts and necklines that show half of the breasts are just not common in Indian clothing. We learned here that when westerners discovered Kovalam beach as a great location, women started topless sunbathing there – an absolute sensation for Indians. And of course there are men and women who come to India and are looking to have an affair, some short relation or a holiday romance while they are here. It is not really a wonder that uneducated Indian people who don’t know too much of the world get this impression.

Well, I am sure that with globalization and education, also this impression will slowly start to change.

Perfectionism is not a Perfect Idea – 30 Oct 10

Two days ago I wrote about yoga teachers who want to be perfect in their exercise and their classes. I have felt many times however that perfectionism is a kind of western disease. I mean with this that it is very common in whatever country I have travelled. People live in a lot of pressure believing that they have to be the perfect mother, the perfect daughter, the perfect brother, the perfect grandfather, the perfect partner, the perfect friend, the perfect student and the perfect teacher. The problem is that this gives you a lot of stress, a lot of tension and in the end you suffer from burn-out or depression and you probably don’t do half of the things that you actually want to do simply because you are afraid to fail.

I personally make this experience again and again that you can be much happier if you do not have this kind of hesitation. If you see my English for example: I speak English although I know that there are mistakes in my grammar, pronunciation and even in my vocabulary! It has improved over the years but I have been giving lectures in English eight years ago already! You can imagine what the state of my English was in that time but I talked anyway and I am sure people understood what I wanted to say in that time, too!

What I want to say is, don’t wait with doing anything because you think you are not perfect. A perfectionist will have always hesitation but you can slowly leave this attitude behind if you start daring something! I have met people who said they would start speaking only when they will be perfect in the language. The truth is however, you will never be perfect and never have the power of expression that a native speaker has. So just start!

Perfectionism also creates inferiority complexes! You see anybody who does anything better than you and you feel bad. You want to sing and you know you ‘can sing a little bit’ but there is someone who sings much better, so you are shy! Your feet are twitching to the music but there is this other girl who looks so great in dancing, so how could you start dancing, you would look strange next to her! If you have this definition of perfection, you will never get to do anything! Even if you think you have reached perfection in some area of life, you will be so proud that it will be difficult not to show it off. And while you are just showing off how great you can sing, dance or do anything else like mental arithmetic, there will be someone just close by who suddenly is better than you. Someone who steals your show. How embarrassed will you be?

You see, you can try as much as you want, you will never reach full perfection better than anyone else and you will surely never be perfect in everything. The wish of being perfect is driven by the wish to be a master, an expert. If you can leave this wish and get into your mind that there is always a possibility to do it better, to learn something, you will be much happier. I like to think of myself as a student, not a teacher. Someone who tries everything to see how he can improve. Improvement is always possible but you are fine just as you are!

Yoga Teachers! Do not worry about Perfection! – 28 Oct 10

The Yoga Teacher Training is currently going on at the Ashram and I gave a few lectures, too. In one of them I was talking about perfection in Yoga. Once a student in a similar course asked me ‘I don’t think I am really able to teach yoga, there are so many postures in which I am not fully perfect yet!’

Especially in the West I have seen often that yoga teachers feel like they have to be perfect in performing the Asanas. Actually they want to be perfect in everything and that at once. They give themselves a lot of pressure because they want to show their students the most difficult physical yoga poses without shaking, without any support and without any mistake. For many of them it is then very embarrassing if they have to search for support during a balancing pose. They even do not dare to do some exercises fearing that this would happen.

This hesitation does not stop with the Asanas, it reflects in everything the yoga teacher does. A new way of meditation will first be practiced alone or with the own children until it seems perfect and if someone asks an unexpected question, you get nervous. This wish to be perfect can really destroy your joy of teaching.

If a yoga teacher has a very deep wish to be perfect, he may even play this role of the perfect teacher. Even if he doesn’t know the answer to your questions, he answers quickly, no matter what you ask. An easy asana will be rehearsed for hours and the students will have difficulties looking as perfect as the teacher. Behind this mask of perfection however is the fear of not being perfect.

It is so unnecessary and unhelpful for your teaching to think in this way! Imagine what would happen if students thought the same way and would only come if they already knew everything. If they thought that it was embarrassing not to be able to go into a posture, how would you teach them?

You don’t need to be perfect, not as a yoga student and not as a yoga teacher. Also in our advanced courses we don’t teach perfection, we teach how to go further than what you have done before. You learn how to accept the limits of your body and maybe slowly extend them. Most of all you learn to accept and love yourself, no matter how far you can go in a posture.

Hidden Curiosity and Interest leads to Embarrassing Situations – 16 Jul 10

As I said, make-up is for me another way of hiding your natural beauty and your identity. When we were in America, a woman said to me ‘Oh yes, we Americans are really good in hiding!’ I had to laugh about it in that time because I also know many people in Europe and also in India who are good in hiding different things. In the west however it is more common to hide emotions and also to hide interest than in India.

I talked with a friend about how funny it is when I walk in the street and people are curious. They want to know who I am, they wonder why I am walking around in these clothes. Some might know that I am from India, some might even have seen my face on a picture sometime, on the internet, in a magazine, wherever. But there are always many people who are just curious. And I absolutely do not mind that.

It is however really always funny how people are so obviously curious and then try to look indifferent. They look at the side and watch me or us from the corner of their eye. It even happened that someone pretended to be writing a text message on his phone but actually took a picture of us. The sound was not muted however and so it made the typical ‘click’ of the camera noise and the boy’s head turned red. He was obviously very embarrassed that he took that picture.

When we are walking Ramona sometimes has fun to see when there are men or women who look interested but are shy to look at us openly, if they gaze at us from the back. So they pass by and then Ramona turns around to see them staring at us. She always smiles at them but they quickly turn their heads back.

So I really wonder, why do you need to hide your interest like this? Wouldn’t it be much nicer if you just looked and if you wanted to know more, you could come over and ask? This also happened quite often already and we have made many nice acquaintances like this. It is a kind of manner here that you should not stare at others. I believe if you stare and try to do it secretly, it is even worse! Just be open, approach us, that would be nice!

Be Natural, No Reason to Be Embarrassed – 07 Jan 10

Yesterday I was talking about embarrassing situations and Ramona asked me what the most embarrassing situation in my life was. Today again she asked and she asked also Yashendu and Purnendu but none of us could find any such situation. We just don’t feel embarrassed in some situations that others feel embarrassed in.

I believe that it is easier to live in this way. You know, if you can just accept that you are a normal human, not perfect, just as everyone else, there is no reason to be embarrassed. I anyway think that you shouldn’t be embarrassed for the natural noises of your body, it just doesn’t make sense, you cannot control your nature. And also if you do any action, why do you feel embarrassed? It happens mostly because you want to be in a certain way, we want to look good, want to impress others and have a certain image in mind how we want to look like. Be natural and self-confident. Again it is about the wish to be perfect or the confidence to be who you are.

Embarrassing Situations and how they Make Happy – 6 Jan 10

I was writing about time. Yesterday I said that in deep emotions like sadness it seems that this feeling will never go away. It is not only with sadness and anger like this. It also happens with embarrassment. It is funny how situations in which someone is feeling embarrassed are the most funny situations to those around!

Did you every come into an embarrassing situation? Did you ever act like a fool in public, couldn’t hold air back in an office meeting, had the zipper open during an important speech or accidently had your skirt fly up in a Marylin-like manner? And now tell me, especially if that was a very public incident, didn’t you think that you would never be able to go in front of people again? Didn’t you wish the ground would open up and swallow you? Okay and as the first moments after this event were passing, didn’t you stand there with the head shining in bright red thinking that these moments will never pass? And guess what: they did!

Depending on your character the embarrassment subsided fast or slowly and you are not thinking of this moment anymore each time when you meet those people. And if you decide to share your story with others you will see, the more embarrassing it was, the more happy you make your surroundings!

If you would like to share a laugh with the readers, you are welcome to send your most embarrassing story to me by email ( and I will maybe share some stories in the diary in the next days!