A Letter to Myself; this is the right choice.

It’s been a year since I completed my yoga teacher training. Over a year, really. I still refer to myself as a “baby yogi”. It’s pretty appropriate.

Teaching isn’t easy. You have to piece every class together, test them out, and make adjustments – constantly. I’ve spent hours perfecting the “perfect flow” only to have a class brimming with beginners and throw half the written class out the window. I’ve even made the mistake of not slowing down, and seen the disgruntled and frustrated faces in response. People ask me questions and honestly, I don’t know the answer. That sucks. I’m still learning how the body works, still understanding what each pose requires, still finding the best cues for everyone.

I’m like a cup that someone filled with a few tablespoons of water and I want to be overflowing. The water is the knowledge, and I am feeling a lack of.

I’m not scared that I’m not good enough. Well, maybe a little. But I’ve figured something out. I can fix that. Inherently, yes, I am enough. I know that. I’m talking about not being a good teacher. This isn’t something you just wake up and are great at. Maybe some people are. More realistically? This is something you work at. I might love it, but it’s still work. Every single class is a lesson. Can I find a better cue for that pose? How do I make people comfortable while encouraging them to move into better alignment? Should I give physical adjustments? How do I improve at giving these adjustments? My “students” faces are my grading system. Their statements are my report card. Still, I can’t let them affect me too much.

No yoga teacher is perfect, at least not for every person. We’re all just opening ourselves up for the people who mesh well with us, while desperately learning to serve them best. Teaching can be a constant state of vulnerability and I don’t ever want to lose that. In the last year I’ve had to learn confidence so that I can be open to criticism. I’ve built a stable center of enoughness, so that I’m not swayed by every negative response. All while still paying attention, being open, feeling exposed. Seriously, teaching is not easy.

Sometimes people ask me if I’m happy I started teaching right away. The answer is always yes. My students have been my teachers. They’ve helped me find pieces of myself I didn’t know I had. They gave me confidence. They’ve asked me questions I didn’t know the answer to, and that in turn made me find them. Strangers who decide to simply walk into my life have led me consistently to a better path, a deeper understanding, a constant seeking of knowledge. I’m endlessly grateful to them for that and their patience, their understanding, and their reassurances. The list could go on.

Now, I’m going to teach full time. I want to say trying, but I am going to do it. I’m terrified I can’t make it, but I won’t stop trying. I won’t stop doing it. Yoga has always been my passion. Teaching is the opportunity to share that with others. Every class is a lesson on how to share that in a new way, a way so filled with love, patience, and kindness that it allows others to fall in love with yoga the same way I have.

I’m scared. I’m exposed. I’m vulnerable.

I’m in love and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “A Letter to Myself; this is the right choice.

  1. This brings to mind my experience as a spin instructor, but if I’m making comparisons, you’re doing incomparably better than me. I also spent untold hours pulling together the perfect class, but I wasn’t ever able to modify it to meet the needs of the participants. The class I built is the class I instructed. Any dissent left me defensive, even if the issue was simply that the music was too loud. I instructed for about five years and then I finally realized that all I was getting from it was anxiety, obsessions and a good workout. I haven’t really missed the class, but I definitely miss the workout.

    Unfortunately, I have a lot of the same issues with blogging/writing. And while I won’t quit that, I’m constantly trying to find ways to minimize the mental impact of how it makes me feel. I think it takes a special person to give in a way that a yoga instructor needs to give. I hope you continue to grow and continue to have fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Jeff. It’s strange how even though writing and instructing are so different they require equal amounts of exposing yourself. I consistently appreciate your posts and so happily say just keep doing you, but I know it’s never that easy. Your latest post was great though. I especially appreciated the relationship between Rob and Chris. Not sure if I just imagined that, but I like it.

      Thanks again for the comment and encouragement! I appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Here we are on *your* blog discussing *my* post. That doesn’t seem right. The only relationship I envisioned was Rob’s jealousy of the attention Illana paid. Was your yoga training fitness focused training or did you do the hundreds of hours intensive yoga training. Most of the instructors I’ve taken from are really just putting together a fitness class. There isn’t much yogi-ness.

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      2. I’m happy to talk about writing any where on the internet. I’m equally happy to maybe lure some readers over to your blog, because I think it’s a great space. I definitely tend to over analyze things so that doesn’t surprise me in the least. I think it was something along how Illana and Angela referred to falling for Rob’s and Chris’ different flirtations. It made me see a kind of similarity between the two. But again, I over analyze.

        I did a 200 hour yoga training and was fortunate (in my opinion) to have that be largely philosophy based. The unfortunate side to that is I’m slightly jealous of those people who understand body mechanics and desperate for more knowledge on how the body works. It works out though because I feel like I’m slowly trickling self awareness into gym spaces, and the rest I can just keep learning more about. Sorry this reply took me so long! I’m easily distracted in life.

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      3. I *really* need to get back into yoga. It’s become a serious after thought in my house recently. I’ve been off the wagon for a few years and now my wife is doing her own home practice (intermittently) since she got a job with a commute. I remember how exciting it was to be on the new end of being an instructor. I’m certain that where you’re weak technically, you more than make up for it in enthusiasm and freshness.

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      4. That’s a valid point, and I think you’re probably right. I am definitely enthusiastic. I don’t know a lot of people who haven’t fallen off the yoga wagon, myself included. It’s a strangely difficult practice to keep up with. What makes you want to get back into it?

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