More Than Just Teaching

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Last month I started Yoga Teacher Training and so far it has been way more fulfilling than I thought it would be.  I'm with an amazing group of women and we all just meshed right away. Maybe it's a reflection of the yoga studio and the community it has developed which has been very welcoming and accepting and it just spills into the teaching program? Maybe it has to with learning more about Baptiste Yoga, which is more than just a sequence of asana (yoga poses) but also meditation and self-inquiry. 

"Self-Inquiry" is probably the most difficult of the three to work on because who really wants to look at themselves and go deep into their fears and what's holding them back? C'MON LET'S DO SOME YOGA!!!  But doing this is helping all of us connect in a way that is more than just someone I take yoga classes with, and it's awesome.  It's hard, but awesome.

It is all starting to make sense.  I've already broken down and shared more about myself than I'm comfortable with but sometimes you need to tear down the old in order to build up stronger, better, and new.  I'm not finished, I'm sure there's more that's gonna come out, more tears, more tissues, but I feel like I am at a very critical point that will determine how I will choose to live the rest of my life.   It's a serious head and heart examination that years of therapy probably couldn't tap into.

Some people practice yoga strictly for the exercise.  They have no interest in meditation, sanskrit, bandhas, 8 Limbs of Yoga, anything that has to do with mindfulness, spiritually, and looking within.  And that's okay!  If there's one thing I don't like is forcing something on someone who is not interested or ready to be receptive to it.  There were a lot of things I didn't want to look at for years but the time wasn't right until now.

On the flip side, when people come to yoga for more than just to stretch - like seeking peace, stress relief, an "escape" from the bullshit they're dealing with - that's heavy! And as a teacher, you are a part of helping them find whatever it is that they are looking for.  I don't want to take that lightly.  Teaching yoga is more than just walking around, calling out yoga poses and making adjustments here and there. You are empowering, uplifting, inspiring, and encouraging others which is pretty much why I want to teach yoga. I'm not sure if I can do this any other way but through yoga.    

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Who I Want to Become A Yoga Teacher For

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I was at the salon getting my hair chopped off.  Every few years I decide to cut all of my hair off and go short.  It's like a cleansing.  Also, I start Yoga Teacher Training in a couple of weeks and I don't want to worry about how fucked up my hair is looking after 532 hours of yoga.  I mentioned this to my stylist and she was really excited for me but she also said "I have this weird thing about yoga." I asked what she meant by that. 

She goes on to tell me that she's been to a few yoga studios in the area (not the one I go to) and always felt uncomfortable because she's a bigger girl.  She felt like she was being judged for her size, stared at, and she never felt welcomed.  I knew E X A C T L Y where she was coming from. I told her that that attitude is the reason why I want to teach yoga.  I've been there a lot, I still am sometimes.  Sure, there may be an asshole or two who may be like "What are YOU doing here??" but screw em! Clearly they are there for the wrong reasons and are miserable deep down. YOU SHOWED UP! And that should be commended for.  Also, I honestly don't believe that people really care about what you're doing, it's all in your (and my) head.

I told her that I have my own worries becoming a teacher wondering "Who would want to take a class with someone who looks like me??" and she said "I WOULD!!"  That is who I want to be there for:

  • The plus size woman who hides in the back of the room so no one sees her. 
  • The older person who wants to try something new for the first time but is intimidated by the younger people around them.
  • The man who is curious about yoga but is afraid of being laughed at by a room full of women. 
  • ANYONE who has ever felt like an outsider, not accepted, alone, unloved, ostracized just for who they are and need to get out of that dark place. 

Yoga helped me out of that dark place and taught me to love the things that my body can do and see how strong I really am. I still have insecurities but I feel better equipped on how to handle them. I just hope I am given a chance to share that with others. 

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