After writing in depth about my experience throughout my yoga teacher training, I spent the summer doing a lot of thinking, meditating, reflecting, and synthesizing. I knew I wanted to teach yoga, but I didn’t feel comfortable jumping right in without taking some time to really internalize my experiences and figure out what they meant to me–as both a human, and a potential yoga teacher. I didn’t just want to regurgitate what I had learned.
And… I didn’t do any yoga for about a month. The thought of sitting down on my mat actually made me cringe. At the time, I was a bit panicked… had I just wasted a lot of dollars and time and hard work on something I’d already lost?
Of course not! In retrospect, it makes a lot of sense. For better or for worse, I have to be sure, absolutely SURE I want to do something before I really do it. Rejecting it allows me to maintain distance, allows me to examine, think, and feel more objectively. In the past, I’ve often rushed into things, without really thinking, that I felt I wanted to do… only to discover, often too late, that I didn’t want to do them after all.
A month away from yoga (and a month spent looking at it very critically) allowed me to recognize what I love about it, and realize with greater clarity, why I actually want to teach (I’ll write about that later). Knowing this, I felt confident about practicing again, and even more confident about my dedication to teaching yoga. The picture above was the first time I practiced after my four or so weeks of avoidance. I was encouraged by my aunt, who was in need of a break as we all prepared for her daughter’s (my cousin’s) baby shower later that afternoon. Unrolling one her mats and sitting down on it felt like throwing on a cozy sweater I’d forgotten I owned. It felt good to be back.
So–the news is: starting in September, I will be teaching a weekly class at a nearby dance/yoga studio/art gallery. I am REALLY excited about it, and will share more information as it becomes available. That being said, I want to maintain a humble and hard-working mindset: I am beginning, and it’s going to take a long time, and a lot of patience, dedication, openness, and reflection to become the kind of yoga teacher I know I can be. I look forward to teaching this first class–to sharing my love and appreciation for a practice that I believe can make all of us better at being human. I’d like to race ahead and feel like an expert, but I know that real wisdom and knowledge takes time. The best thing I can do as a beginning teacher is BE what it is that I am trying to teach, as this woman says so eloquently in her post on becoming a teacher. It really is a process of becoming–it never ends; there is never not room for growth or development or change. I guess that’s why teaching, and life, can’t ever really get boring… just so long as you’re awake and out there, in it. (And I know, I know, we all hibernate, from time to time…)
But, don’t take my word for it, listen to the Velveteen Rabbit!