Well it has only been a couple of weeks into teaching yoga again and….WOW!!! What a spectacular experience it has been. Not only because now I feel like I really do have something to offer others, but watching those I teach connect and fall in love with yoga is such a beautiful feeling.
There was a particularly special experience I had at my last class. After class, one student (I guess we’ll use that word) told me that she loved Ashtanga and how I taught a traditional class. She really felt connected to her body and breath. This was like music to my ears! Not only is it fun to connect with others about yoga, it is uniquely special when you get to participate in bringing forth an aha! experience. Helping people to see for themselves, what is so amazing about yoga is like fuel for my desire to share it with others.
When I first taught years ago, I was in such a different place in my life. I was working a crazy hours day job with a gigantic amount of stress, I was kidless, fresh out of teacher training and hadn’t really found what I had to offer from within. My classes were structured properly and I did have a sense of how different bodies look and behave during practice but what lead my teaching was not firm.
Where was my teaching coming from? Why was I so nervous every time I taught a class? What was I trying to give to my students? I certainly don’t like the answers when I think about what they were at the time. My teaching was coming from a desire to be liked by what I chose to teach. I was so nervous because I cared very much about what people thought about the difficulty level. It had to be super challenging, I thought. I was trying to give my students a super tough class that they would think was great because I kicked their butts. This seems so embarrassing now! To me, it sort of sounds like what a fitness instructor would be thinking about giving to their class.
~ This is NOT yoga. ~
On my second trip to Thailand to see Paul Dallaghan and Sri O.P. Tiwari for a pranayama training, I began to realize firstly- how little I really knew about yoga and secondly- that I was NOT in a place to be teaching. When I came home, I felt so appalled by where my teaching was coming from that I quit doing it right then. I cut it right out. Would I ever teach again? At the time I was unsure, I didn’t want to bring any negativity to something that I held so dear.
Over the years, I have taken more training, but more importantly, I have sustained a true daily practice which I feel with my entire being. I meditate, I chant, I do my asana, I read and learn, I talk to other practitioners. I live through yoga. Nothing can replace or imitate how experiences will exist, ebb and flow, influence and inspire life in such a myriad of ways as time.
TIME– It is known to heal, to provide mental and physical connections in our lives and to allow our choices to unfold.
This blog has been an outlet for me as well, to see what I have inside. Thinking about it, writing, reading it, all help me see it more clearly. I have a deep passion for yoga and it drives the pulse of my daily life. There isn’t an hour that goes by where something related to yoga doesn’t influence my decisions or my life in some way. It is here where my teaching comes from ~ Life. The ways that yoga has beautifully interwoven itself into my life provides a bountiful and genuine place to teach from. I know how poses feel, good places in the body to focus as the pose is taken, how to breathe, and in a natural way I can relate these perspectives from deep within. I am also passing down a traditional practice, while being mindful of how bodies will find the asana in their own way.
I wish to continue to teach yoga! Woo-hoo! I am pleasantly surprised by the confidence that my experience has bestowed upon my teaching so far. When I prepare to go to teach my class now, even though it has been a few years, I just feel ready. I don’t feel particularly nervous, more so I feel excited to share and be in the presence of like-minded people who just want to find that place on their mat and flow it out with me💖
Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers, feeling much gratitude for all of you who take the time to read my blog!
Lisa Michelle xo