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.