I Am My Own Teacher...
...and therapist, and job coach, and creative team. You don't just wake up one day, hit the studio and sit down with a blank mind and impeccable focus. The first day of practice is a maelstrom of old crap, to-do lists, dating issues, money concerns and insecurities. You learn to tune out the nonsense, and deal with the true triggers of your scattered thoughts - essentially, you acknowledge the thoughts that happen to be flying through your head and deal with them, one by one, til they're all laid to rest. Last week I was worrying about business during class and I started thinking about what I could do to drum up new clients. I came up with a rather clever marketing scheme, put it to action and I had one less thing to think about on the mat.
Yoga forces you to hold yourself accountable for the things that happen everyday. You learn to live a life that you are proud of, without regret, to always handle yourself in a way that doesn't require you to agonize over the ins and outs of your day. You start to pay attention. You don't want to create drama as that will give you more to think about in your pursuit of bakasana (my holy grail of the moment, the pose I am working towards), whatever yours may be. You're still sifting through your old stuff and don't want anything new on your plate.
It's about accountability. In how you treat people and how you handle yourself when no one is watching. Just as you don't get that much out of class when you're body isn't engaged and you're just going through the motions, you won't get that much out of your experiences when you're checked out and not doing things on purpose.