A Note to My Yoga Teacher Self

I've always been a teacher of some sort (a nutrition counselor, dance teacher, scuba instructor, a bar trainer), but teaching yoga has been the most rewarding and life changing. My first public class was terrifying. I wanted to get in the car, leave town, change my name and start over so I could avoid the fear and failure that I was forecasting. How was I to lead people through yoga postures, remind them to breathe and sound oh so inspiring while doing it? How was I suppose to guide them into bliss, nirvana, samadhi?! I didn't, you don't. Teaching yoga is not that, Phew. Modern yoga is (many things) about leading people towards being more present in their body. I taught the class, my nerves showed and it was... my first ever yoga class. It went exactly how it was supposed to. 

Me trying to decide to go teach my first yoga class or leave town.

Me trying to decide to go teach my first yoga class or leave town.

 Four years is not a long time to be teaching by any means, but a couple thousand teaching hours has given me some perspective that I wish to share with my fresh-outa-yoga-teacher-training-self of four years ago. Writing this list feels incredible and empowering. It's never too late to be your own guru. I highly recommend it. 

  • Be 100% you in the studio/gym/classroom/space you're teaching in.

  • You have a voice. Use it. Don't change it, just speak clearly, authentically and not too much.

  • Remember your students are having their own inner experience on the mat. Honor that.

  • Teach the class you love to take.

  • Teach the yoga you have a relationship and a familiarity with.

  • You're going to teach some shitty classes. They won't be as bad as you judge yourself for. Move on.

  • You don't have to teach everything you know about yoga in one class.

  • You don't have to reinvent the sun salutation. Just teach good quality yoga.

  • Make your yoga accessible, reasonable and inclusive as possible.

  • Be a student. Practice yoga. Take care of your body.

  • A few (maintenance) poses in your living room while watching Grey's Anatomy (are gold) definitely counts and will bridge the gap till you get on your mat.

  • Do not compare yourself to what other teachers IRL or on IG are doing. Do your work. Do your yoga.

  • Be willing to change and grow out of old beliefs and cues that no longer serve you, your students or your teaching.

  • 200 hrs is just the beginning, a drop in the bucket. Find your niche, your teacher, your style and rock it.

  • Value your offering and your content or no one else will.

  • Trust the yoga.

Maybe this applies to your life even if you're not a yoga teacher. Maybe as a barista or engineer or nurse or artist you yield the reminder to be 100% you. To be inclusive, reasonable, accessible. That you embrace change and grow out of old beliefs that no longer serve. I hope this is relevant (it feels relevant). I hope you value your offering, whatever that may be and I hope you get to do a little bit of something you love each day. 

My first yoga sequence script. we've come a long way baby.

My first yoga sequence script. we've come a long way baby.