Teaching Yoga

IMG_20130914_120359It’s been almost 2 months since I had received my certification as a Yoga Instructor. I spent a tumultuous year with lots of ups and downs training to be a Yoga Instructor. There were moments on this journey when I had my doubts about my resolve to complete it, there were moments when I was 100% convinced that this was it for me. In the end I did stick to it and now I have another piece of paper defining me. Do I feel like this is where I belong? No, I have not started using my knowledge to lead others into self exploration yet. Heck, I still feel like I have a lot to learn myself. Yoga is a never-ending journey that people spend lifetimes to explore. So, no, I have not finished learning. But here I am, on the brink of a Yoga teaching career.

Tomorrow is my first real practice that I’ll be leading. I say “real” because I have taught my fellow yoga students before, but for some reason those practice teachings did not feel quite real to me. They were certainly beneficial, but somehow they felt like play rather than the real thing. Tomorrow I’ll have a class of people I don’t know who will want me to lead them to discover yoga. This in a way feels exciting, in a way frightening and a bit empowering. That’s a lot of contradicting feelings, I know. I know what teaching feels like from years and years of language teaching. The difference is that teaching languages came easy, because the knowledge is somewhat finite; teaching yoga scares me because one can never truly learn everything there is, it’s too complex and it’s not concrete and finite like languages.

So in order to work on my first sequence I rose today at 4AM as I feel most productive when everything is quiet and peaceful. I decided on simplicity and clarity rather than fancy, elaborate words and movements. I went back to my most favourite yoga book I own, “How Yoga Works”
It’s a story of a girl who ends up in prison and teaches people around her how yoga works. It’s a simple story but it resonates with me on so many levels. It teaches the reader thegautam-buddha-for-hd-lord importance of kindness, understanding, forgiveness and justice through exploration of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The simplicity of the story makes it accessible to any reader without a prior knowledge of yoga. And that’s what I want to bring to my yoga classes – simplicity and ease. We don’t need fancy, overcomplicated yoga poses to say we are practicing yoga. Yoga can be as simple as sitting on the mat with your eyes closed calmly breathing in and out. It can evolve, that’s for certain and it will evolve if you keep your practice going. But to begin with you can perform simple movements and if you are present in your practice, that’s all that matters.

Update: It’s way past my bedtime and I have just returned from my first class. It has greatly exceeded my wildest expectations! It was calm and peaceful regardless of the traffic behind the window. I felt comfortable with a small private group of students who without hesitation followed my instructions. It was to be expected that my plans went astray couple of times, but that never threw me off my game. I carried away as if it was my plan, to go astray 🙂 . I’m yet to find my yoga voice, but I would not have expected it to be there waiting for me the first class I taught. I know it takes time. I’m happy to say that my teaching stamina that I had experienced years ago came back to me. All day today and prior to leaving for class I was in a nervous “it’s-an-exam-day” kind of mood. However, when I came back I greeted Randy with a big smile on my face and tons of tidbits to share. It’s a game!

From My Happy Place to Yours,
Namaste 

 

 

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